lunes, 27 de agosto de 2007

Consejos de Martha Nussbaum para estudiantes

Consejos para estudiantes de humanidades y ciencias sociales:

"My question was, focusing now on the role of the humanities and the social sciences (because I think other people can talk better than I can about the science part), what should that involve? I argued that there were three abilities above all that we need to cultivate to be adequate citizens of this very interlocking and complicated world. The first is the Socratic one: the ability to examine your own beliefs and ask what are your reasons for believing what you believe. That's essential for reasoned public culture, for a culture where it's not just sound-bites on talk radio, but it's serious deliberation and reasoned debate.

Then, learning about other countries, the whole "citizen of the world" part, which means a lot more knowledge than people used to get, than I got, about non-Western cultures. I want to include in that the knowledge of at least one foreign language, because even if it's, let's say, French or Italian, you still learn from that how another group of people sees the world and how difficult it is to translate that so neatly into your own language. I also think you need to learn about minorities in your own country, so I devote some time to women's studies, African-American studies, studies of human sexuality.

Then the third one, which goes closely with the second, is the cultivation of the imagination. It's not enough (although you have to do it), to learn historical facts and facts about economics. You need to be able to think what it might be like to be in a position different from your own so that the arts, not just literature but also drama, also dance, music -- these have a big role in cultivating the sort of person who's prepared to go out into the world and think well about these problems".

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1 comentario:

Daniel Salas dijo...

Hola Martín:

Martha Nussbaum tiene la cualidad de mostrar la relevancia de ciertos gestos que, desafortunadamente, se han vuelto banales o se encasillan en lo "políticamente correcto". Por una parte, mucha gente todavía no entiende la finalidad ética de respetar y tratar de entender a las minorías o a los que son diferentes. Por otra, algunos quieren pasar hacia una suerte de relativismo moral y tolerancia absoluta hacia prácticas que obstruyen la libertad y el desarrollo de las personas. Nussbaum se opone, con argumentos que se remontan a Aristóteles, a ambas posturas. La ideas libertarias y feministas de Nussbaum, sin embargo, carecen del glamour postmodernista de Butler o Irigaray y por eso en muchos círculos académicos (especialmente en los estudios literarios) han sido desatendidas. Hay que prestarle más atención y, sobre todo, hay que entender que la lucha de Nussbaum es una lucha que posee sentido y no es mera palabrería o excusa para la buena conciencia.