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The Core Curriculum

The Arbitrariness of Canons: The Neglect of Hellenistic Philosophy and Why It Is A Bad Thing.

Course-wide Lecture, Fall 2005

by Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago

On Friday, September 30  at 11 a.m. in Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall, Professor Martha Nussbaum, of the University of Chicago delivered the Contemporary Civilization Course-wide Lecture, entitled “The Arbitrariness of Canons:  The Neglect of Hellenistic Philosophy and Why It Is A Bad Thing.”

Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, with appointments in the Philosophy Department and the Law and Divinity Schools.  She is also the founder and coordinator of the new Center for Comparative Constitutionalism as well as an Associate in the Classics and Political Science Departments, an Affiliate of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Human Rights Program Board Member.  Professor Nussbaum served as research advisor at the United Nations University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research in Helsinki.  She has chaired the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on International Cooperation and the Committee on the Status of Women; she currently chairs its new Committee for Public Philosophy.  Professor Nussbaum’s publications include Aristotle’s De Motu Animalium (1978), The Fragility of Goodness:  Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986), Love’s Knowledge (1990), For Love of Country (1996), Sex and Social Justice (1998), Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (2004), Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2005).  She is a recipient of numerous book awards, including the Brandeis Creative Arts Award in Non-Fiction and the PEN Spielvogel-Diamondstein Award for the best collection of essays.  She has received honorary degrees from twenty-five colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Europe.

The Contemporary Civilization Course-wide Lecture series was established in 1999. Two lectures are given each year; one in the fall and one in the spring. The lectures are sponsored by the Dean of the College. Additional information about the CC Course-wide Lectures is available on the Core Curriculum Web site.