Martha Nussbaum has experiences in writing about educationrelated topics such as liberal education, already publishing a book called„Cultivating Humanity”. However her inspiration to write her book entitled “Notfor Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” came from a person of theSpencer Foundation named Mike McPherson but also because of the fact that shewas resident fellow at the foundation. In addition to this, her association with theCambridge school in Weston, Massachusetts helped her by giving her optimism inwhat type of education she wanted to defend in her book. ( xii ) Thetitle seems to be chosen just in perfect harmony with the subject. Even though the arts education is not metioned in it, byreading the book it will make sense why Nussbaum decided to just place the wordhumanities in the title. In adition to this, from my point of view the title is very well chosen because the author can easily catch people’sattention with it. I also think that if she decided to indeed mention the artseducation in the title, she would not recieve the same attention from thepublic because in these days, people are not that interested in arts education.The main aim of her book is to show and to make peopleunderstand about the importance of the arts education and humanities in societybut also how they can help people in developing their skills.
In her book entitled „Not for Profit: Why DemocracyNeeds the Humanities” , Martha Nussbaum deals with topics regarding educationall over the world but her main focus is on the United States and India, placesthat she has better knowledge of. Forthat reason, her main thesis is that by declining the study of the humanitiesthe world can end up with some „useful profit makers rather than thoughtfulcitizens.” (142)Even though people want to replace the arts educationand humanities with technology or technology education, Nussbaum does not saythat the arts and humanities are neglected by individuals. She mostly thinks thatthey are somewhat feared because for example, humanities at the same time with artcan heighten one’s creativity and imagination but as well as his or herscompassion. And this also makes me think that she wants to make people awarethat a society without MarthaNussbaum states that “empiricalstudies have by now shown that political liberty, health, and education are allpoorly correlated with growth.” (14) Inthe book, the author mentions that “democracy is built on respect for eachperson, and the growth model respects only an aggregate” (24). I think that bythis she is trying to say that democracy and the economic growth are incompatibleto each other.
Lateron in the book, her statement about how empirical studies and other things arecolerrated with growth, takes a radical change. This time, she says that thehumannities “areessential for the goal of economic growth and the maintenance of a healthybusiness culture” ( 112 ). The author begins to contradict herself regardingher previous statement, fact that can cause a lot of confusion for her audice and make her looklike she is not sure of what she is trying to express in her book.However,throughout the book, her satements begin to lose their strenght and her idea aboutthe importance of arts education and humanities in society becomes les and lessconvincig to the audience. Thebook has a very well made and complex structure, however its context becomesunclear after a while. It is devided ineight chapters, each one of them dealing with a different topic but regardingthe same main subject, which is the arts education and humanities.
Each oftheses chapters have a suggestive title as a way to give the reader a smallpreview of what to expect from its content. Aditionally this makes the reader’serchfor a certain topic more accessible and easier. Furthermore, each chapther is usually provided with two quotes, one fromthe point of view of the Americans and the other from the point of view of theIndians, regarding the same topic. Frommy point of view, not anyone can take part in being the audience of this book.I think that the the most suitable audience should be formed from people whoare interested in this subject but aswell as principals from schools, highschools and universities and political figuresas well. Inconclusion, after reading this book written by Martha Nussbaum even though I donot have any specific knowledge regarding the subject I think that I still could learn something Despitethe fact that I mentioned before that the most suitale audience should bepeople that have knowledge of the topic, I think other people should read it aswell. Whether or not they are interestedin the subject, at some pont in their life maybe what they have learnt from thebook could come in handy.Nevertheless, there were a few things that I did notlike a bout the book.
First of all, it contained too much information for mylicking. But that is not a bad thing at all. It shows that the author wanted tospeak in detail about this subject. Although the author has practice in writingbooks, as I mentioned before at one point in the book she begins to contradicther own statements, which was a bit confusing for me personally. And second of all, the fact that there doesnot seem to be a clear explanation as how to how save arts education andhumanities