Martha Nussbaum Essay

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NUSSBAUM Martha Nussbaum is a contemporary American philosopher. In this essay, I will examine her piece, “Finely Aware and Richly Responsible.” For her essay, Nussbaum will use Henry James’ novel The Golden Bowl. Nussbaum will argue that philosophy, specifically moral philosophy, is missing something without the presence of literature and great novels. Nussbaum places emphasis on the moral achievements of the novel and that the novel itself is a moral achievement. It is important to briefly talk about the moral system with which Nussbaum is concerned. Nussbaum assumes virtues ethics as the moral system. Virtue ethics is a system developed by Aristotle. Nussbaum claims to be trying to reflect Aristotle’s view on literature. Virtue ethics…show more content…
She specifically wants to prove that The Golden Bowl is one of these moral achievements. Nussbaum will argue that novels such as James’ are “irreplaceably, works of moral philosophy” (Nussbaum, 328). It is the case—as Nussbaum points out—that if the same job could be done by paraphrasing, instead of a fully descriptive and precise novel, then Nussbaum’s argument falls apart. This is because her argument will lie heavily on the detail in which the author writes. This detail is the only way we can gain certain parts of moral philosophy (Nussbaum,…show more content…
At first, it may not even seem as though they are in direct dialog. However, Nussbaum sure would have to assent to literature giving some knowledge in the practice it allows us to have. Nussbaum would definitely assent to literature communicating something that could not otherwise be communicated. Stolnitz does not address this point; given what has been written, it seems as though he could not address Nussbaum in this regard. It seems to make sense that if it is the case that literature can communicate something that cannot be communicated in any other way, then literature give us some knowledge. Nussbaum seems to prove that it is possible for literature to communicate something unique. Therefore, literature offers some

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