Wm's Reviews > Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

Not for Profit by Martha C. Nussbaum
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Aug 02, 11

bookshelves: higher-ed, socio-poli-religio-cultural
Read from July 19 to August 01, 2011

The two stars might be a little unfair, but I'm going by the "It was okay" tag and really that's all it was. It's quite the pack of platitudes. I think it's supposed to be a manifesto, but if so, I didn't find it all the stirring or interesting, and I'm left with no idea what we're really supposed to. All the hard questions get cursory treatment at best. Things pick up in the last chapter when we get some actual research and some specific looks at what institutions are doing wrong or right. The book needed way more of that.

There's no real unpacking of why not for profit is important nor why democracy truly needs the humanities. There's a major oversimplification of the modern preference STEM as well as the need for the technical and a sweeping aside of the major debates the humanities have had over their own value and what they actually can accomplish. It's classic liberalism (which I do have a soft spot for) but of the bland assertion kind. Pity that.
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