Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities
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 e...more
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Indian parents take pride in a child who gains admission to the Institutes of Technology and Management; they are ashamed of a child who studies literature, or philosophy, or who wants to paint or dance or sing.
Nussbaum wants to change this situation with this manifesto, with this call to action. With the very poignantly titled Not for Profit, Nussbaum alerts us to a “silent crisis” in which nations “discard skills” as they “thirst for national profit.”: a world-wide crisis in education. She ...more
The book is trite, simplistic, poorly written, poorly argued - and that from one who is basically in sympathy with her general position. She draws a simple-minded distinction between "education for growth (which is bad; business or technology oriented) and education for critical thinking and self-development (Humanities; though this book, like much of the Humanities today, in fact, exhibits ...more
I found this book to be a disappointing read. Rather repetitive and not terribly insightful, I question the reference to this book as a manifesto. It seems to me that there could be a much more thoughtful, broad survey of the decline of the humanities than what is offered here. While I'd hoped this book would do that, I guess I have to look elsewhere.
Of course, being a work from Martha Nussbaum, you can expect a great deal of erudite and passionate discussion of Greek philosophy as pertains to the subject-matter and there is a wealth of this on the role of Socratic dialectic and examination, not only ...more
In ‘Not for Profit: Why democracy needs the humanities’, Martha Nussbaum argues this is a fund ...more
- education for citizenship as well as marketplace
- democracy hinges on education - without education, democracy will crumble
- not letting pragmatic view of education strip it of its moral guidance and efficacy
- Chapter 4 on Socratic Pedagogy
- Chapter 5 - world citizenship / exposure as the answer to racism/tribalism
Many people assume that humanities are just for fun or, at their best, for personal development, but Nussbaum has made several strong arguments for how the humanities are valuable beyond the personal level - they also contribute to a healthy democracy.
First, citizens need to able to examine political speeches and appreciate arguments which conflict their opinion. The humanities cultivate in students this capacity through the so-called Socratic pedagogy - rather than rote-learning, s ...more
Democracies have great rational and imaginative powers. They also are prone to some serious flaws in reasoning, to parochialism, haste, sloppiness, selfishness, narrowness of spirit. Education based mainly on profitability in the global market magnifies these deficiencies, producing a greedy obtuseness and a technically trained docility that threaten the very life of democracy itself, and that certainly impede the creation of a decent world culture.
Nussbaum doesn't hold back in this man ...more
-Too much talking about how private funding is a good system (under certain conditions)
-It reiterates quite a lot what I already thought myself, thus it was hard to continue reading it. However, this does not mean the content of the book or the argument itself is a bad one.
Would read if you are trying to form an opinion on what entails good education and whether humanities need to play a key role in the education (both primary, secondary and unive ...more