Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

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Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

by Martha C. Nussbaum

Princeton University Press | May 2, 2010 | Hardcover

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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 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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 184 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.76 in

Published: May 2, 2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0691140642

ISBN - 13: 9780691140643

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– More About This Product –

Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

by Martha C. Nussbaum

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 184 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.76 in

Published: May 2, 2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0691140642

ISBN - 13: 9780691140643

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ruth O''Brien ix
Acknowledgments xiii
CHAPTER I: The Silent Crisis 1
CHAPTER II: Education for Profit, Education for Democracy 13
CHAPTER III: Educating Citizens: The Moral (and Anti-Moral) Emotions 27
CHAPTER IV: Socratic Pedagogy: The Importance of Argument 47
CHAPTER V: Citizens of the World 79
CHAPTER VI: Cultivating Imagination: Literature and the Arts 95
CHAPTER VII: Democratic Education on the Ropes 121
Notes 145
Index 153

From the Publisher

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 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.

From the Jacket

"Martha Nussbaum is the most erudite and visionary scholar writing on higher education today. Once again, she has laid out a novel and compelling argument with all of the clarity and rigor we expect from her writing. Not for Profit reminds us all that the deeper purposes of liberal education go well beyond personal advancement or national competitiveness. The real project is to educate responsible global citizens who will champion democracy and human development, and who have the skills to collaborate across differences and borders to solve pressing global problems."--Grant H. Cornwell, president of the College of Wooster

"This book could not be more timely nor more on target. Martha Nussbaum argues that education has become increasingly utilitarian, market-driven, career-oriented, and impoverished in its attention to the arts and humanities. The arts and humanities don''t necessarily make people humane and creative, but they are, Nussbaum argues, required for Socratic examination and self-examination. If we agree with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living, then we need Nussbaum''s argument."--Peter Brooks, Princeton University

"This is an important book and a superb piece of writing, combining passionate enthusiasm with calm arguments and informative examples. Written with a lovely light touch, it introduces the reader to the much misunderstood history of progressive education and shows its contemporary relevance."--Harry Brighouse, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Editorial Reviews

"Nussbaum has produced a book filled with stimulating ideas that not only helps us structure our institutional priorities and pedagogical strategies, but also provides us with the rationale we need to defend our field as we face increasing scrutiny from our students, our institutions, and the public at large."--Kristi Upson-Saia, Theology and Religion
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