Martha Nussbaum has experiences in writing about education
related topics such as liberal education, already publishing a book called
„Cultivating Humanity”. However her inspiration to write her book “Not for
Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” came from Mike McPherson of the
Spencer Foundation and the year she had spent there as a resident fellow. In addition
to this, her association with the Cambridge school in Weston, Massachusetts
helped her by giving her optimism in what type of education she wanted to
defend in her book. (xii )
title of the book seems to be chosen perfectly with its subject. Even though that the arts education is not
metioned in it, by reading the book it will make sense why Nussbaum decided to just
place the word humanities in the title. In adition to this, from my point of
title is very well chosen because the author can easily catch people’s
attention with it. I also think that if she decided to indeed mention the arts
education in the title, she would not recieve the same attention from the
public because in these days, people are not that interested in arts education.
The book has a very well made and complex structure. It is devided in eight chapters, each one of
them dealing with a different topic but keeping the same subject, which is the
arts education and humanities, throughout all these chapters. Each of theses
chapters have a suggestive title as if to give the reader a small preview of
what to expect from it. Aditionally this makes the reader’serch for a certain
subject more accessible and easier. Furthermore,
each chapther is provided with two quotes, usually one from the point of view
of the Americans and the other from the point of view of the Indians, regarding
the same topic.
The main aim of her book is to show and to make people
understand about the importance of the arts education and humanities in society
and also how the can help people in developing their skills.
In her book entitled „Not for Profit: Why Democracy
Needs the Humanities” , Martha Nussbaum deals with topics regarding education
all over the world but her main focus is on the United States and India, places
that she has better knowledge of. For
that reason, her main thesis is that by declining the study of the humanities
the world can end up with some „useful profit makers rather than thoughtful
Even though people want to replace the arts education
and humanities with technology or technology education, Nussbaum does not say
that the arts and humanities are neglected by individuals but instead that
these are feared. For example, humanities at the same time with art can heighten one’s creativity and
imagination but as well as his or hers compassion.
Nussbaum states that “empirical
studies have by now shown that political liberty, health, and education are all
poorly correlated with growth.” (14)
the book, the author mentions that “democracy is built on respect for each
person, and the growth model respects only an aggregate” (24). By this she is
saying that the democracy and economic growth are incompatible to each other.
on in the book, her statement about how empirical studies and other things are
colerrated with growth, takes a radical change. This time, she says that the
essential for the goal of economic growth and the maintenance of a healthy
business culture” ( 112 ). The author begins to contradict herself regarding
her previous statement, fact that can cause a lot of confusion for her audice and make her look
like she is not sure of what she is trying to express in her book.
throughout the book, her satements begin to lose their strenght and her idea about
the importance of arts education and humanities in society becomes les and less
convincig to the audience.
my point of view, not anyone can take part in being the audience of this book.
I think that the the most suitable audience should be formed from people who
are interested in this subject but as well as principals from schools, highschools
and universities and political figures as well.
conclusion, after reading this book written by Martha Nussbaum even though I do
not have any specific knowledge regarding the subject I think that I still could learn something
useful out of it and maybe what I have learnt will help me in the future.
Despite the fact that I mentioned before that the most suitale audience should
be people that have
knowledge of the topic,
I think other people should read it as well. Whether or not they are interested in the
subject, at some pont in their life maybe what they have learnt from the book could
come in handy.
the only thing that I did not like about the book was that it contained too much
information for my licking. But that is not a bad thing at all. It shows that
the author wanted to speak in detail about this subject. Although the author
has practice in writing books, as I mentioned before at one point in the book
she begins to contradict her own statements, which was a bit confusing for me