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Monday, August 08, 2016

Philosophy Without Tears | First Things (blog)

A profile of Martha Nussbaum.

Rachel Aviv's New Yorker profile of philosopher Martha Nussbaum was shadowed by irony. 

Entitled “The Philosopher of Feelings,” the article described Nussbaum's work on the philosophy of emotions and her advocacy of human vulnerability. Philosophy itself can provide a protective shield against luck or unluck, and she has studied the ways disgust “draws sharp edges around the self” (Nussbaum's phrase) and alienates us from our humanity.

Yet Aviv depicts a confident, active, dominating woman, a woman who soldiered on with a lecture after her mother's death, a woman who gave Aviv very specific directions about how to write a profile of Martha Nussbaum. It's odd that someone who studies the vulnerability of bodies should be devoted to an exercise regimen apparently designed to mold her flesh into steel. Aviv says that Nussbaum has been drawn to those who blush in partial reaction to her unblushing father, but in person she is very much her father's daughter. 

Source: First Things (blog)