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Sex and Social Justice

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  163 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
What does it mean to respect the dignity of a human being? What sort of support do human capacities demand from the world, and how should we think about this support when we encounter differences of gender or sexuality? How should we think about each other across divisions that a legacy of injustice has created? In Sex and Social Justice, Martha Nussbaum delves into these ...more
Paperback, 488 pages
Published August 24th 2000 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1998)
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Paul Crider
Apr 18, 2016 Paul Crider rated it it was amazing
If I could give Sex and Social Justice six stars, I would. Nussbaum’s feminism is subtle and careful, with one eye fixed on the shared universal human conditions that enable a “truly human flourishing” and the other eye always paying careful attention to the fine details of particular individual and cultural contexts and the irreducible complexities of human existence. Nussbaum navigates masterfully between the universal and the particular, both at the abstract level (see her discussions early i ...more
Oct 09, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
While in their works Judith Butler attempted to wax poetic on the meanings of gender and Catharine MacKinnon laid down theory on how gender matters to law—and how law could be made to better serve all genders—Nussbaum actually addressed in this book real-world cases as varied as gay rights to prostitution to the lack of agency women have in developing nations. She brings a heavy dose of theory with her and writes powerful, mordant, prose of the issues she tackles in this volume, but her foci are ...more
Things you might be surprised to discover in Martha Nussbaum's Sex and Social Justic:

- a brief reference to A Suitable Boy (no, but more philosophers should reference A Suitable Boy);
- a fairly lengthy and specific discussion of the erotic and sexual activity that took place in ancient Athens (I might mean classical Athens? my grasp of these distinctions is minimal);
- an explanation of why Proust and Jackie Collins aren't mutually exclusive*;
- excerpts of questionable aesthetic value from a porn
Nov 16, 2012 Lena rated it really liked it
I really loved this book a lot. I didn't expect to as it appeared at to be a long and cumbersome text. I first started reading it because I thought it my duty to bone up on such a seminal text if I were to call myself a feminist. I continued reading it because each essay captivated me. I wish I could quote it verbatim at people who oppose women's right as well as LGBT rights. I particularly loved the final essay on the love between Mrs and Mr Ramsey. I will definately go back and reread that on ...more
Nov 10, 2012 Nora added it
Adding this to my list of long-ass books that I was overambitious enough to think readable on the amount of time I have! I read about half of it. The author is clearly brilliant and harsh. Sometimes she seemed to engage with arguments that are kind of dumb, and sometimes she would start to get into a really interesting and controversial topic and then suddenly back away saying she didn't have enough space to get into it, and I was like GET INTO IT MARTHA! A lot of the ancient Greek stuff was lik ...more
Ella Forte
Oct 10, 2012 Ella Forte rated it really liked it
I am continually reminded of the intellectual I aspire to be when I read M. Nussbaum. This book, while not my *favorite* is still greatly informative. Issues like justice relating to gender and sexual orientation are becoming more and more a part of our national dialogue. Nussbaum's reason (admittedly, sometimes biased) view is much needed today.
Peter Broady
Jul 24, 2013 Peter Broady rated it it was amazing
One of our greatest living philosophers - the essay on objectification is the most interesting, I think. I look forward to reading more of her work on development as I continue my studies in economics.
i don't know how i feel about this book
i haven't cracked it open yet
but i should read this
i really don't agree with the whole take
of "feminism" in the west
Jul 22, 2010 Liz marked it as to-read
I didn't read much of this and it was overdue. I will possibly read it another time.
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Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School. She is an Associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She is the founder and ...more
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