Professor Martha Nussbaum (Chicago) is listed by the Foreign Policy magazine amongst the Top 100 Global Thinkers.
"These are perilous times for liberal humanists like philosopher Martha Nussbaum, who find their craft besieged from all sides: by metrics-minded education reformers, by pundits and politicians fretting about U.S. competitiveness in the sciences and engineering, by university administrators faced with budget cuts and shrinking endowments, wondering whether they really need that historian of early Guatemalan kilns on the payroll.
Nussbaum, an eclectic scholar whose last book explored the theme of disgust as it related to the gay-marriage debate, thinks that they do. The liberal arts, Nussbaum argues in her latest book, Not for Profit, are essential to the development of empathy, tolerance, and critical thinking, traits and skills that don't translate easily into numbers but that are crucial for society. In the rush to retool the American education system in the image of an ever-more-cutthroat global economy, she worries, "values precious for the future of democracy … are in danger of getting lost.""
Martha Nussbaum is Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Her latest book is "Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities" (Princeton University Press, 2010). See my post here.