Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

Martha C. Nussbaum / Sep 27, 2020
Not for Profit Why Democracy Needs the Humanities In this short and powerful book celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education Historically the humanities have been
  • Title: Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities
  • Author: Martha C. Nussbaum
  • ISBN: 9780691140643
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this short and powerful book, celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education Historically, the humanities have been central to education because they have rightly been seen as essential for creating competent democratic citizens But recently, Nussbaum argues, thinking about the aims of eIn this short and powerful book, celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education Historically, the humanities have been central to education because they have rightly been seen as essential for creating competent democratic citizens But recently, Nussbaum argues, thinking about the aims of education has gone disturbingly awry both in the United States and abroad Anxiously focused on national economic growth, we increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable and empathetic citizens This shortsighted focus on profitable skills has eroded our ability to criticize authority, reduced our sympathy with the marginalized and different, and damaged our competence to deal with complex global problems And the loss of these basic capacities jeopardizes the health of democracies and the hope of a decent world In response to this dire situation, Nussbaum argues that we must resist efforts to reduce education to a tool of the gross national product Rather, we must work to reconnect education to the humanities in order to give students the capacity to be true democratic citizens of their countries and the world Drawing on the stories of troubling and hopeful educational developments from around the world, Nussbaum offers a manifesto that should be a rallying cry for anyone who cares about the deepest purposes of education.
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      Martha C. Nussbaum

    About "Martha C. Nussbaum"

      • Martha C. Nussbaum

        Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School She is an Associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program She is the founder and Coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism.Martha Nussbaum received her BA from NYU and her MA and PhD from Harvard She has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford Universities From 1986 to 1993, Ms Nussbaum was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University She has chaired the Committee on International Cooperation and the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Philosophical Association, and currently chairs its new Committee for Public Philosophy She has been a member of the Association s National Board In 1999 2000 she was one of the three Presidents of the Association, delivering the Presidential Address in the Central Division Ms Nussbaum has been a member of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies She received the Brandeis Creative Arts Award in Non Fiction for 1990, and the PEN Spielvogel Diamondstein Award for the best collection of essays in 1991 Cultivating Humanity won the Ness Book Award of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 1998, and the Grawemeyer Award in Education in 2002 Sex and Social Justice won the book award of the North American Society for Social Philosophy in 2000 Hiding From Humanity won the Association of American University Publishers Professional and Scholarly Book Award for Law in 2004 She has received honorary degrees from thirty seven colleges and universities in the U S Canada, Asia, and Europe, including Grinnell College, Williams College, The College of William and Mary, The University of St Andrews Scotland , the University of Edinburgh Scotland , Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium , the University of Toronto, the Ecole Normale Sup rieure Paris , the New School University, the University of Haifa, Ohio State University, and Georgetown University She received the Grawemeyer Award in Education in 2002, the Barnard College Medal of Distinction in 2003, the Radcliffe Alumnae Recognition Award in 2007, and the Centennial Medal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University in 2010 She is an Academician in the Academy of Finland In 2009 she won the A award from the German Social Science Research Council for WZB for her contributions to social system reform, and the American Philosophical Society s Henry M Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence.


    1. Indian parents take pride in a child who gains admission to the Institutes of Technology and Management they are ashamed of a child who studies literature, or philosophy, or who wants to paint or dance or sing.Nussbaum wants to change this situation with this manifesto, with this call to action With the very poignantly titled Not for Profit, Nussbaum alerts us to a silent crisis in which nations discard skills as they thirst for national profit a world wide crisis in education She focuses on two [...]

    2. In this short book Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago, presents both an argument and a call to action with which everyone may not agree but which is carefully reasoned, articulately presented, and always fascinating.Nussbaum argues that we are in the midst of an educational crisis that is massive, global, and mostly unnoticed Changes are needed and changes are occurring, but the changes that are happening currently are ill advised, having as their goal natio [...]

    3. I m Reading this because of an assignment It s not the sort of thing or author I d generally bother with.The book is trite, simplistic, poorly written, poorly argued and that from one who is basically in sympathy with her general position She draws a simple minded distinction between education for growth which is bad business or technology oriented and education for critical thinking and self development Humanities though this book, like much of the Humanities today, in fact, exhibits precious l [...]

    4. Oh dear I m considering not even putting this book on my page because I genuinely feel terrible about not liking it I really WANTED to like this book I LOVE what the book ispposed to be about It s the execution that really disappointed me This book is VERY academic, in the worst sense of the word I really wanted a spirited discussion and defense of the humanities in contemporary American education, and what I got was a very dry comparison to the way American education approaches the humanities a [...]

    5. Este texto me pareci brillante.Un an lisis aterrador del sistema educativo actual y una exposici n de las razones por las que necesitamos en nuestra educaci n y en la vida las humanidades.Un libro muy provechoso para maestros y padres de familia que encontrar n una gu a para educar, desde una edad temprana en el respeto, la equidad, la compasi n y el pensamiento individual proyectado hacia el colectivo con argumentos muy fuertes y v lidos de lo que estamos construyendo en las escuelas, los hogar [...]

    6. Nussbaum calls her book a manifesto Her manifesto on why democracy needs the humanities is made up of 6 interlocking propositions 1 there is a crisis going on in education today 2 this crisis is the shedding away of the humanities, which produce the necessary espirit de corps and competencies for an active and productive democracy 3 this shedding away of the humanities can be attributed to the growth oriented economy, which prefers professional skill ism rather than the critical thinking skills [...]

    7. c cu n n y kh b t ng , kh ng ph i Ch u u m l M m i coi tr ng gi tr c a liberal arts v c c m n nh n v n n i chung h n l Ch u u, n c b Nussbaum ph ph n m nh nh t l Anh, c bi t sau th i Thatcher Kh ng ph i h th ng tr ng c ng d a tr n ng n s ch nh n c, m quy t nh c p ng n s ch l i thu c v c c ch nh tr gia quan li u v n ch u nhi u nh h ng c a c c i h i ng n h n, h i h t c a c tri v c c b nh th nh t ch m l h th ng tr ng t th c d a tr n s ng g p c a c c c nh n m i l c s v ng ch c c a h th ng liberal ar [...]

    8. Nussbaum challenges the current push in education to make everything we learn submissive to a specific career This view sees education as a benefit to our economy, largely to those who profit from the labor of others Nussbaum reminds us that education is a public good it benefits the learner, the teacher, and the communities we live in The Humanities teach us not just valuable skills like problem solving and critical thinking that we need in our jobs, but empathy and compassion that we need to l [...]

    9. Nussbaum recommends Philosophy for Children as an exemplary program of Socratic pedagogy, which, she argues, is a necessary component of education in democratic societies Nussbaum calls attention to a world wide crisis in education 2 making national economic growth its primary purpose This crisis involves radical changes in what democratic societies teach the young, 2 and in particular, the de emphasis and even elimination of teaching the humanities and the arts Nussbaum s own philosophy gives e [...]

    10. The two stars might be a little unfair, but I m going by the It was okay tag and really that s all it was It s quite the pack of platitudes I think it s supposed to be a manifesto, but if so, I didn t find it all the stirring or interesting, and I m left with no idea what we re really supposed to All the hard questions get cursory treatment at best Things pick up in the last chapter when we get some actual research and some specific looks at what institutions are doing wrong or right The book ne [...]

    11. Nussbaum describes this book as a treatise she is making an argument about the state of humanities and contemporary higher ed It is therefore a different kind of book than one might get if she were asking big philosophical questions, and it has the potential to disappoint an audience who expects her to be dispassionate and academic It is an excellent read for faculty who teach, especially at small liberal arts colleges, and who have lost sight of the larger purpose in the push to Quantify Everyt [...]

    12. I found this book to be a disappointing read Rather repetitive and not terribly insightful, I question the reference to this book as a manifesto It seems to me that there could be a much thoughtful, broad survey of the decline of the humanities than what is offered here While I d hoped this book would do that, I guess I have to look elsewhere.

    13. One of the main arguments of our era on behalf of public funding of education is the economic benefit it will produce In the current 2016 Australian election, the Labor Party has argued its education spending policy will add up to 2.8% to growth US President Barack Obama made a similar case a few years ago that For every dollar we invest in these education programs, we get nearly ten dollars back.In Not for Profit Why democracy needs the humanities , Martha Nussbaum argues this is a fundamentall [...]

    14. Questo libro, per me, IL libro Ha dato voce a pensieri a cui non ero ancora stata in grado di attribuire un nome e una forma concreta Mi piacerebbe rendergli giustizia nel migliore dei modi ma dubito che ci riuscirei, quindi ci che mi sento di fare di consigliarlo a chiunque Non c un gruppo di persone in particolare a cui rivolto questo libro ci riguarda tutti da vicino, oggi pi che mai La morte di ogni uomo mi diminuisce, perch io sono coinvolto nell umanit E dunque non cercare mai di sapere pe [...]

    15. This manifesto started out very promising but it soon went downhill for me I get why it works on a broader audience but to me it felt like a comparison between Indian and American systems which both include liberal arts and sciences with a tiiiiiiiiiny bit of humanities All the while hating on the European way, so sad Also, she could ve better named the book why liberal arts and sciences is the bomb because that is all she talked about really.

    16. I am not entirely sure what to make of this except to note that it is disappointing, and that may be because 1 these are debates that I find myself in the middle of, as a humanities scholar working in a Science Faculty, and 2 Nussbaum did not really go far enough for me There is no doubt, this is a political manifesto, and there is a real need for lucid, compelling and powerful defences of the humanities in the current climate where we are repeatedly told that higher education should be developi [...]

    17. Written by one of the most formidable intellects in America today, this book argues for reversing the decline in humanities teaching in the world today She mainly deals with the US where interestingly she see the humanities as maintaining some presence in higher education and India where they do not and, to a lesser extent, Europe Education has become driven by the needs of the market nothing new there at the expense of educating citizens for democracy She refers frequently to Tagore, the Nobel [...]

    18. As a Humanities scholar I m very glad to see someone defend it I think nussbaum makes a compelling case and while I do not agree with her methodological nationalism or anthropocentrism I do think that the humanities is crucial in forming good critical humans I do feel that her point was made clearly early in the book which made me lose interest halfway through Especially the last two chapters felt like repetition But regardless it was an interesting read and food for thought.

    19. A short and provocative book She uses her neo Aristotelian philosophy of emotion laden ideas to argue the importance of playfulness, Socratic dialogue, and maternal encouragement in education, and then uses this to argue for the importance of the arts and humanities for our development as human beings and democratic citizens Chapter IV is also a nice crash course in the history of educational philosophy that I found useful.

    20. Polemical leaning, without, at the same time, some of the excesses that oft come with the genre It is well argued, well researched, and well thought through For critical educators, much of it is a bit old hash, but it is still worth the read without a doubt It sets out an argument for critical education, focusing on the humanities This limitation on the humanities is both positive and which I have some concerns about particularly as near the end she makes a comment about the great books colleges [...]

    21. The reason for not liking it as much is twofold Too much talking about how private funding is a good system under certain conditions It reiterates quite a lot what I already thought myself, thus it was hard to continue reading it However, this does not mean the content of the book or the argument itself is a bad one Would read if you are trying to form an opinion on what entails good education and whether humanities need to play a key role in the education both primary, secondary and university [...]

    22. One of the reasons I love the work I do is because I feel it is practical as well as interesting This practicality speaks to me for many reasons one of which is that I ve seen and continue to see , students graduating from college without the skills necessary to be successful at least by employer or economic standards However, Nussbaum has made an excellent case for why the humanities should be appreciated within our society and I believe she s made a convert out of me.

    23. Skv l obhajoba humanitn ho vzd l v n , kterou by si m li p e st v ichni politici rozhoduj c o sm ov n kolstv V born je zejm na kapitola v novan praktick uk zce argumentace Zaj mav je tak kapitola, kter l , pro je pot eba ve spole nosti a k odpov dn mu politick mu rozhodnut kritick my len Velmi aktu ln t ma Kniha mi dala cenn argumenty na ot zku Dala ti ta kola v bec n co

    24. Sort of a jumble of different arguments It was useful for me as an overview of some liberal theories of education The discussion about India and Tagore was also pretty basic but relevant to my own interests.

    25. ste es un libro que todos los docentes deber an de leer Independientemente de si creen en la democracia o no, Martha C Nussbaum desmenuza la importancia de las humanidades y las artes en la educaci n a todos los niveles.Altamente recomendable.

    26. La conoscenza non garanzia di un buon comportamento, ma l ignoranza lo quasi certamente di uno cattivo p 96

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