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Ebook Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (The Seeley

Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (The Seeley Lectures)




Author: Martha C. Nussbaum
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2000
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 334
Isbn10 Code: 0521660866
Isbn13 Code: 9780511338526


From Kirkus Reviews A major voice for ethical law calls for a global feminism to address the deplorable conditions of women in the Third World. Nussbaum (Law and Ethics/Univ. of Chicago) draws once more on the research behind For Love of Country (1996) and Sex and Social Justice (1998): the first for her condemnation of the legalized rapeby spouses or strangersof Third World women (and child brides), the second for her argument that Americans are morally responsible for alleviating the suffering of the victims of inequality abroad. Enlivening her argument with legal case histories and personal anecdotesfor example, a story about a religious Muslim woman who was pained to lose her purdah (her modestly isolated and veiled lifestyle)Nussbaum considers the challenges of introducing Western moral and legal standards in entrenched patriarchal societies where women's higher mortality rate is as endemic as poverty. In India, the primary country discussed here, feminist reform runs up against powerful religious establishments. The abortion of baby girls has declined and widows are no longer expected to jump on their husbands funeral pyres, but until recently Hindu women who had suffered from domestic abuse and fled could be forced back home if they could not pay a fine. In polygamous Islamic regions and countries, women have fewer legal rights to their own bodies, and the issues of religious autonomy are stickier. But even when Third World women largely defend the discriminatory practices of their culture, Nussbaum shows again and again how resourceful deeply religious women and men can be in adapting the religion's moral understanding to a changing reality. The authors prose is dense but readable, though readers daunted by references to exogamous marriage, and patrilocal residence may want to keep a dictionary handy. Easier to understand is her urgent warning that there must be a global effort to help the millions of women suffering malnutrition, drudgery, bad marriages, illiteracy, and more. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. Review "Women and Human Development is an important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas." New York Times Book Review "Women and Human Development is an important book. It presents a rich, nuanced argument that is both intellectually rigorous and attuned to practical dilemmas...eloquent." The New York Times Book Review "Philosophically ambitious, politically daring and morally insistent, Women and Human Development hopes to shake the complacent reader into realising just how dire the conditions are under which so many women around the world try to live, work and love." London Review of Books "Theological ethicists who believe that feminist global ethics need not be culturally relativist nor committed to a kind of abstraction that 'turns the mind away from reality' should find in Women and Human Development a stimulating argument that attends to both experience and philosophical grounding yet is open to the significant contributions of religious traditions and their scriptural interpretations. This book should stimulate interest among generalists as well as professional ethicists and scholars in philosophy and religious studies." Religious Studies Review "This is a must-read book for international development specialists, and will greatly reward others willing to invest some effort and thought in it." Choice "A powerfully argued proposal for a turn to 'quality of life' as privileged criterion in discerning just distribution and access to social and material goods in civil society. A vital text for studies in development, economic ethics, feminist ethics, theories of justice, human rights, women's studies." Center for Women and Religion "This book is an important contribution to the increasing dialogue between Western and Third World feminists, and should be read by anyone interested in international development." Susan Okin, Stanford University "The ringing defences of universalism, liberalism and human rights in the early chapters of Sex and Social Justice [Nussbaum; Oxford University Press] are expanded and revised in Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach." The London Review of Books "I found myself caught up in Nussbaum's arguments, and when I taught Women and Human Development to a seminar filled with antiliberal graduate students, this book gave them a terrific challenge.... Even those who strongly disagree with liberalism and are strong supporters of cultural diversity and relativism will be forced to confront the questions Nussbaum raises and to think critically about these issues. Political philosophers can ask for nothing more." American Political Science Review "Theological ethicists who believe that feminist global ethics need not be culturally relativist nor committed to a kind of abstraction that 'turns the mind away from reality' should find in Women and Human Development a stimulating argument that attends to both experience and philosophical grounding yet is open to the significant contributions of religious traditions and their scriptural interpretations. This book should stimulate interest among generalists as well as professional ethicists and scholars in philosophy and religious studies." Religious Studies Review

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