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Democratic Citizenship and the Narrative Imagination


by Martha Nussbaum — 2008

If democratic citizenship involves learning to live with and alongside other people, then an appropriate civic education must foster the capacity to understand people who may act from very different understandings, motives, and capacities. In this chapter, Martha Nussbaum makes an argument for the vital role of the arts, and particularly literature, in cultivating the powers of the imagination which, in turn, contribute to the kind of judgment and sensitivity needed by responsible citizens.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 107. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 110 Number 13, 2008, p. 143-157
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18468, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017 2:05:12 AM

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About the Author
  • Martha Nussbaum
    University of Chicago
    E-mail Author
    MARTHA NUSSBAUM is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School. She has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford Universities and was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, part of the United Nations University. She has received many awards, including honorary degrees from thirty-two colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. Among her many publications are The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986, updated edition 2000), Love’s Knowledge (1990), Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (1997), Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions (2001), and Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality (2008).
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