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Martha C. Nussbaum

  • Knowledge is no guarantee of good behavior, but ignorance is a virtual guarantee of bad behavior.

  • Play teaches people to be capable of living with others without control; it connects the experiences of vulnerability and surprise to curiosity and wonder, rather than to crippling anxiety.

  • You can’t really change the heart without telling a story.

    • Martha C. Nussbaum
  • Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger.

    • Martha C. Nussbaum
  • To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control ...

    • Martha C. Nussbaum
  • ... education is not just about the passive assimilation of facts and cultural traditions, but about challenging the mind to become active, competent, and thoughtfully critical in a complex world. This model of education supplanted an older one in which children sat still at desks all day and simply absorbed, and then regurgitated, the material that was brought their way.

  • I suggest ... that large-souled and compelling art is generally concerned with the recognition of the common in the strange and the strange in the common ...

    • Martha C. Nussbaum,
    • introduction, in Martha C. Nussbaum, For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism ()

Martha C. Nussbaum, U.S. philosopher, classicist