Emily's Reviews > The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy

The Fragility of Goodness by Martha C. Nussbaum
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Oct 28, 09

Read in February, 1999

Oh for the days when I still adored and admired Martha Nussbaum. This wonderful book predates the "capabilities approach" for which she is now famous, and which I was recently forced to re-encounter in a context that thoroughly exposed its flaws. I was fuming about this recent Nussbaum run-in on the subway this morning, thinking of the very many blithe assumptions about the content of "the good" upon which the capabilities approach is based, and planning a scathing goodreads review (that'll teacher her!), and I thought of a passage from another book that I wanted to cite in my attack. "What book is that from?" I wracked my brain. Then I realized... it is from The Fragility of Goodness by... Martha Nussbaum. So instead of venting my annoyance at the capabilities approach (or, it seems, in addition to venting) I am posting my four-star approval of this earlier book, which is full of imagination and insight and good humor and beautiful writing. I just wish she had stayed a theater geek, or else become a full fledged activist. I guess too much John Rawls (god bless him) will turn any young bleeding heart into an armchair ethicist.

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