- Publisher: The Belknap Press
- Format: Paperback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 137mm x 208mm x 23mm | 295g
- Publication date: 14 October 2013
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
- ISBN 10: 0674725913
- ISBN 13: 9780674725911
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 200,336
What prompted newspapers to attribute the murder of 77 Norwegians to Islamic extremists until it became evident that a right-wing Norwegian terrorist was the perpetrator? Why did Switzerland ban minarets? Martha C. Nussbaum surveys such developments and identifies the fear behind these reactions.
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Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and, with Amartya Sen, a Founding President of the Human Development and Capability Association.
Nussbaum guides readers toward an ethical response to the fears that have fed attacks on Muslims and others, and bred toxic religious persecution. Nussbaum asserts a moral calling to provide principles for democratic practice...Nussbaum proves that the role of political philosophy is essential and practical, "offering insight" to society so that people can think more carefully. Fear is central to religious intolerance, and although natural and necessary to survival, fear is the most base and thoughtless of human emotions. The dynamics of fear lead to hypocrisy and persecution of religious minorities. In times of fear and anxiety, people make rules that are self-serving, ill-informed, and arrogant, applying to others but not oneself. Nussbaum's survey of legal and philosophical developments confronting equal respect for conscience and impartiality seeks the ultimate goal of living an "examined life." Nussbaum erects principles that are essential to a good life: inclusiveness, respect for diversity, seeing through the eyes of others, and developing the creative imagination. Timely, powerful, and articulate, this is a book that everyone should read.--A. R. Brunello"Choice" (12/01/2012)