but is wary of becoming sated, like one of Aristotle’s dumb grazing animals.

martha-nussbaum

A sixty-nine-year-old professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago (with appointments in classics, political science, Southern Asian studies, and the divinity school), Nussbaum has published twenty-four books and five hundred and nine papers and received fifty-seven honorary degrees. In 2014, she became the second woman to give the John Locke Lectures, at Oxford, the most eminent lecture series in philosophy. Last year, she received the Inamori Ethics Prize, an award for ethical leaders who improve the condition of mankind. A few weeks ago, she won five hundred thousand dollars as the recipient of the Kyoto Prize, the most prestigious award offered in fields not eligible for a Nobel, joining a small group of philosophers that includes Karl Popper and Jürgen Habermas. Honors and prizes remind her of potato chips; she enjoys them but is wary of becoming sated, like one of Aristotle’s “dumb grazing animals.” Her conception of a good life requires striving for a difficult goal, and, if she notices herself feeling too satisfied, she begins to feel discontent.

~ Rachel Aviv, The Philosopher of Feelings, Martha Nussbaum’s far-reaching ideas illuminate the often ignored elements of human life—aging, inequality, and emotion. (The New Yorker, July 25, 2016)


Notes:

1) Don’t miss full fascinating profile of Martha Nussbaum in The New Yorker, July 25, 2016

2) If you liked this excerpt, here’s another passage:

Nussbaum left Harvard in 1983, after she was denied tenure, a decision she attributes, in part, to a “venomous dislike of me as a very outspoken woman” and the machinations of a colleague who could “show a good actor how the role of Iago ought to be played.” Glen Bowersock, who was the head of the classics department when Nussbaum was a student, said, “I think she scared people. They couldn’t wrap their minds around this formidably good, extraordinarily articulate woman who was very tall and attractive, openly feminine and stylish, and walked very erect and wore miniskirts—all in one package. They were just frightened.”

3) Martha Nussbaum bio,

4) Photo credit

Comments

  1. She breathes air at elevations I can’t even fathom…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Intriguing and saved to read this evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Turning Spiral and commented:
    “Glen Bowersock, who was the head of the classics department when Nussbaum was a student, said, “I think she scared people. They couldn’t wrap their minds around this formidably good, extraordinarily articulate woman who was very tall and attractive, openly feminine and stylish, and walked very erect and wore miniskirts—all in one package. They were just frightened.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In complete admiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m right there with Mimi…rarified air. Can’t wait to read this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. with all of her outward and apparent intelligence, it is her inner intelligence that is so powerful. always try new things and help yourself to grow –

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wondering if one has accolades and a brilliant mind, can one be truly content…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Christie says:

    I wonder what it would be like to spend some time with her outdoors…shooting the breeze…or sharing a meal…interesting and educational for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Christie says:

    She is intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve never known anyone so celebrated, so brilliant, so awarded. A world foreign to me. But yet one well deserved. Even brilliance needs to continually be challenged.

    Liked by 1 person

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