Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Martha Craven Nussbaum  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1947 in New York City

-- Martha Craven Nussbaum on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Professor Nussbaum has lived and worked in Chicago since the mid 1990's.

Biographical and Professional Information

Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and Philosophy Department. She is an Associate in the Classics Department, the Divinity School, and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program.Martha 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 American Philosophical Association’s Committee on International Cooperation, the Committee on the Status of Women, and the Committee for Public Philosophy. 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

Published Works

  • Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature, Oxford University Press, 1992
  • The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, 2001
  • Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions, Cambridge University Press, 2003
  • Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law, Princeton University Press, 2004
  • Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership , Belknap Publishing, 2006
  • The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future, Belknap Publishing, 2007
  • Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality, Basic Books, 2008
  • From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law, Oxford University Press,2010
  • Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities , Princeton University Press, 2010

Selected Titles At Your Library

Love's knowledge :
ISBN: 0195074858. OCLC Number:

Oxford University Press,. New York :. 1992, ©1990.

This volume brings together Nussbaum's published papers on the relationship between literature and philosophy, especially moral philosophy. The papers, many of them previously inaccessible to non-specialist readers, deal with such fundamental issues as the relationship between style andcontent in the exploration of ethical issues; the nature of ethical attention and ethical knowledge and their relationship to written forms and styles; and the role of the emotions in deliberation and self-knowledge. Nussbaum investigates and defends a conception of ethical understanding whichinvolves emotional as well as intellectual activity, and which gives a certain type of priority to the perception of particular people and situations rather than to abstract rules. She argues that this ethical conception cannot be completely and appropriately stated without turning to forms ofwriting usually considered literary rather than philosophical. It is consequently necessary to broaden our conception of moral philosophy in order to include these forms. Featuring two new essays and revised versions of several previously published essays, this collection attempts to articulate therelationship, within such a broader ethical inquiry, between literary and more abstractly theoretical elements.

The fragility of goodness :
ISBN: 0521794722. OCLC Number:

. .

"This book is a study of ancient views about "moral luck." It examines the fundamental ethical problem that many of the valued constituents of a well-lived life are vulnerable to factors outside a person's control and asks how this affects our appraisal of persons and their lives. The Greeks made a profound contribution to these questions, yet neither the problems nor the Greek views of the them have received the attention they deserve. This book thus recovers a central dimension of Greek thought and addresses major issues in contemporary ethical theory. One of its most original aspects is its interrelated treatment of both literary and philosophical texts." "The Fragility of Goodness has proven to be important reading for philosophers and classicists, and its nontechnical style makes it accessible to any educated person interested in the difficult problems it tackles."--Jacket.

Upheavals of thought :
ISBN: 0521531829. OCLC Number:

Cambridge University Press,. Cambridge ;. 2001.

Martha C. Nussbaum presents a powerful argument for treating emotions not as alien forces but as highly discriminating responses to what is of value and importance. Beginning from an intensely personal experience of her own, the grief felt at the death of her mother, she explores and illuminates the structure of a wide range of emotions, in particular, compassion and love. She shows that there can be no adequate ethical theory without an adequate theory of the emotions, and that this involves understanding their cultural sources, their history in infancy and childhood, and their sometimes unpredictable and disorderly operations in our daily lives.

Hiding from humanity :
ISBN: 0691095264. OCLC Number:

Princeton University Press,. Princeton :. ©2004.

Should laws about sex and pornography be based on social conventions about what is disgusting? Should felons be required to display bumper stickers or wear T-shirts that announce their crimes? This powerful and elegantly written book, by one of America's most influential philosophers, presents a critique of the role that shame and disgust play in our individual and social lives and, in particular, in the law. Martha Nussbaum argues that we should be wary of these emotions because they are associated in troubling ways with a desire to hide from our humanity, embodying an unrealistic and sometime.

Frontiers of justice :
ISBN: 0674019172. OCLC Number:

. .

The idea of the social contract is one of the most powerful approaches to social justice in the Western tradition. Exploring the limitations of the social contract, Nussbaum devises an alternative theory based on the idea of capabilities as an approach to social co-operation.

The clash within :
ISBN: 0674024826. OCLC Number:

Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 2007.

While America is focused on religious militancy and terrorism in the Middle East, democracy has been under siege from religious extremism in another critical part of the world. As Martha Nussbaum reveals in this penetrating look at India today, the forces of the Hindu right pose a disturbing threat to its democratic traditions and secular state. Since long before the 2002 Gujarat riots--in which nearly two thousand Muslims were killed by Hindu extremists--the power of the Hindu right has been growing, threatening India's hard-won constitutional practices of democracy, tolerance, and religious pluralism. Led politically by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu right has sought the subordination of other religious groups and has directed particular vitriol against Muslims, who are cast as devils in need of purging. The Hindu right seeks to return to a "pure" India, unsullied by alien polluters of other faiths, yet the BJP's defeat in recent elections demonstrates the power that India's pluralism continues to wield. The future, however, is far from secure, and Hindu extremism and exclusivity remain a troubling obstacle to harmony in South Asia. Nussbaum's long-standing professional relationship with India makes her an excellent guide to its recent history. Ultimately she argues that the greatest threat comes not from a clash between civilizations, as some believe, but from a clash within each of us, as we oscillate between self-protective aggression and the ability to live in the world with others. India's story is a cautionary political tale for all democratic states striving to act responsibly in an increasingly dangerous world.

Liberty of conscience :
ISBN: 0465051642. OCLC Number:

Basic Books,. New York :. ©2008.

The founders of the United States overcame religious intolerance in favor of a constitutional order dedicated to fair treatment for people's deeply held conscientious beliefs. This respect for religious difference, scholar Nussbaum writes, formed our democracy. Yet today there are signs that this legacy is misunderstood. The prominence of a particular type of Christianity in our public life suggests the unequal worth of citizens who hold different religious beliefs, or no beliefs. Others, meanwhile, seek to curtail the influence of religion in public life in a way that is itself unbalanced and unfair. Such partisan efforts, Nussbaum argues, violate the spirit of our Constitution. This is a historical and conceptual study of the American tradition of religious freedom. Weaving together political history, philosophical ideas, and key constitutional cases, it is a chronicle of an ideal of equality that has always been central to our history but is now in danger.--From publisher description.

From disgust to humanity :
ISBN: 0195305310. OCLC Number:

Oxford University Press,. Oxford ;. 2010.

In this book the author aims her intellectual firepower at a key source of opposition to gay equality: the politics of disgust. She argues that disgust has been among the fundamental motivations of those who are fighting for a variety of legal restrictions affecting lesbian and gay citizens. When confronted with the thought of homosexuality, she writes, they experience "a deep aversion akin to that inspired by bodily wastes, slimy insects, and spoiled food, and then cite that very reaction to justify a range of legal restrictions, from sodomy laws to bans on same-sex marriage." Leon Kass, who was head of the President's Council on Bioethics during the Bush administration, even argues that repugnance has an inherent "wisdom," steering us away from destructive choices." The author believes that the politics of disgust must be confronted directly, for it subverts the basic principle of the equality of all citizens under the law. "It says that the mere fact that you happen to make me want to vomit is reason enough for me to treat you as a social pariah, denying you some of your most basic entitlements as a citizen." In its place she observes and supports an emerging "politics of humanity" based not merely on respect, but on something akin to love, an imaginative engagement with others and an active effort to see the world from their perspectives as fellow human beings." "For too long, overtly and covertly, disgust has shaped constitutional thinking regarding the rights of lesbian and gay Americans. Recent landmark decisions suggest that the Court's views are shifting toward a humanity-centered vision, and the author's arguments will attempt to advance that cause.

Not for profit :
ISBN: 0691154481. OCLC Number:

. .

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education. 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.

Speaking Engagements

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