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Introduction: Cultivating Humanity with Martha Nussbaum

Introduction: Cultivating Humanity with Martha Nussbaum The vast, ever-growing corpus of Martha C. Nussbaum's work ranges over legal study, moral philosophy, political theory, classical studies, educational policy, and literature. This makes it sound as if she is one of those contemporary thinkers who ignores disciplinary boundaries as just so many obstacles to making half-baked pronouncements on anything and everything. Nussbaum's most impressive quality, however, is precisely that she undertakes to master each subject-area with which she engages. As a result she can develop lines of thought that are genuinely cross-disciplinary, in the sense that considering a topic or (in the case of literature) reading a work in the context of a different framework will produce new ideas that are both substantive and suggestive. They can be considered, debated, re-imagined, extended--as we can see in this group of essays. Nussbaum established her reputation with The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986, 2nd ed. 2001), a philosophically broad and philologically minute analysis of moral thought in fifth- and fourth-century BCE Greece. What may be most striking about this remarkable work is that, alongside Plato and Aristotle, Sophocles and Euripides are treated as full partners in an ongoing investigation of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Interdisciplinary Literary Studies Penn State University Press

Introduction: Cultivating Humanity with Martha Nussbaum

Interdisciplinary Literary Studies , Volume 19 (2) – Jun 16, 2017

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Penn State University Press
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Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
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2161-427X
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Abstract

The vast, ever-growing corpus of Martha C. Nussbaum's work ranges over legal study, moral philosophy, political theory, classical studies, educational policy, and literature. This makes it sound as if she is one of those contemporary thinkers who ignores disciplinary boundaries as just so many obstacles to making half-baked pronouncements on anything and everything. Nussbaum's most impressive quality, however, is precisely that she undertakes to master each subject-area with which she engages. As a result she can develop lines of thought that are genuinely cross-disciplinary, in the sense that considering a topic or (in the case of literature) reading a work in the context of a different framework will produce new ideas that are both substantive and suggestive. They can be considered, debated, re-imagined, extended--as we can see in this group of essays. Nussbaum established her reputation with The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986, 2nd ed. 2001), a philosophically broad and philologically minute analysis of moral thought in fifth- and fourth-century BCE Greece. What may be most striking about this remarkable work is that, alongside Plato and Aristotle, Sophocles and Euripides are treated as full partners in an ongoing investigation of the

Journal

Interdisciplinary Literary StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Jun 16, 2017

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