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Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Public Square)

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Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Public Square) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"A spirited if unremarkable defense of the value of a liberal arts education and of the humanities in general against the encroachment of economic growth — oriented paradigms on global learning practices. Distinguished philosopher Nussbaum (Hiding from Humanity) argues that education for profit has displaced education for citizenship, and with the sidelining of the humanities, critical thinking, empathy, and the understanding of injustice are neglected. Moving deftly between analysis and polemic, the author draws on education practices in India, experimental psychology, the works of such liberal education proponents as Dewey and Tagore to emphasize the importance of critical pedagogy for the development of individual responsibility, innovation, and self-examination. However, while Nussbaum admirably defends liberal humanitarian education, little in the book is new, and she is only moderately successful in pinpointing precisely how educational practices might be reformed or, more importantly, how decision makers might be convinced of the necessity of such reformation. Nonetheless, in advocating educational curriculums that recognize the worth of personal development and creative thought, this slim book is itself a small but decisive step in the effort to broaden and enrich current pedagogical practices. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"If "Liberal" is a dirty word then Martha Nussbaum is one of the most profane philosophers alive. An unashamed champion of the value of liberal democracy, Nussbaum is also an enthusiastic advocate of providing the kind of humanistic education that prepares students to be good democratic citizens." --Jullian Baggini, The Philosopher's Magazine

Synopsis:

"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

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School at the University of Chicago. She is the author of many books, including "Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law "(Princeton).

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

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691140643
Author:
Nussbaum, Martha C
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Nussbaum, Martha C.
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Educational Policy & Reform
Subject:
Aims & Objectives
Subject:
Education
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Political philosophy
Subject:
American history
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Education-School Reform & Controversy
Subject:
Higher education
Copyright:
Series:
Public Square
Publication Date:
April 2010
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
184
Dimensions:
8 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Education » Assessment
Education » General
Education » Higher Education
Education » School Reform and Controversy

Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Public Square) Used Hardcover
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Product details 184 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691140643 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A spirited if unremarkable defense of the value of a liberal arts education and of the humanities in general against the encroachment of economic growth — oriented paradigms on global learning practices. Distinguished philosopher Nussbaum (Hiding from Humanity) argues that education for profit has displaced education for citizenship, and with the sidelining of the humanities, critical thinking, empathy, and the understanding of injustice are neglected. Moving deftly between analysis and polemic, the author draws on education practices in India, experimental psychology, the works of such liberal education proponents as Dewey and Tagore to emphasize the importance of critical pedagogy for the development of individual responsibility, innovation, and self-examination. However, while Nussbaum admirably defends liberal humanitarian education, little in the book is new, and she is only moderately successful in pinpointing precisely how educational practices might be reformed or, more importantly, how decision makers might be convinced of the necessity of such reformation. Nonetheless, in advocating educational curriculums that recognize the worth of personal development and creative thought, this slim book is itself a small but decisive step in the effort to broaden and enrich current pedagogical practices. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "If "Liberal" is a dirty word then Martha Nussbaum is one of the most profane philosophers alive. An unashamed champion of the value of liberal democracy, Nussbaum is also an enthusiastic advocate of providing the kind of humanistic education that prepares students to be good democratic citizens." --
"Synopsis" by , "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

"Synopsis" by , 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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