Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

Hardcover | May 2, 2010

byMartha C. Nussbaum

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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.

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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, Nussb...

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 nati...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:184 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.76 inPublished:May 2, 2010Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691140642

ISBN - 13:9780691140643

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Extra Content

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

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