Animal Justice With Martha Nussbaum, The Philosopher Of Feelings

Martha Nussbaum has never appeared in our pages, nor has this podcast series. Moral philosophy is usually (but not always) outside the range of topics we pay attention to. But when the topic is animal justice, we are in. If you want a primer prior to the discussion, this profile helps:

“What I am calling for” Nussbaum writes is “a society of citizens who admit that they are needy and vulnerable.”

“What I am calling for,” Nussbaum writes, is “a society of citizens who admit that they are needy and vulnerable.” Photograph by Jeff Brown for The New Yorker

The Philosopher of Feelings

Martha Nussbaum’s far-reaching ideas illuminate the often ignored elements of human life—aging, inequality, and emotion.

Martha Nussbaum was preparing to give a lecture at Trinity College, Dublin, in April, 1992, when she learned that her mother was dying in a hospital in Philadelphia. She couldn’t get a flight until the next day. That evening, Nussbaum, one of the foremost philosophers in America, gave her scheduled lecture, on the nature of emotions. “I thought, It’s inhuman—I shouldn’t be able to do this,” she said later. Then she thought, Well, of course I should do this. I mean, here I am. Why should I not do it? The audience is there, and they want to have the lecture. Continue reading