Prominent national philosopher discusses democracy’s need for the humanities |

Prominent national philosopher discusses democracy’s need for the humanities

Staff Reports

Veteran journalist Bill Moyers has said, “When Martha Nussbaum speaks, people listen.” Northern Nevadans will have a chance to listen to Nussbaum, considered one of the most prominent moral philosophers of today, at 7 p.m., April 12, when she speaks at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nightingale Concert Hall.

Nussbaum will address the topic of one of more than a dozen books she has authored, “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities.”

“We invite the community to join us for a thought-provoking discussion on the deeper purpose and value of a liberal education,” said Scott Casper, dean of the University’s College of Liberal Arts.

The presentation is sponsored by the college, KNPB-TV, KUNR-FM and Nevada Humanities, as part of the college’s “Forum for Excellence,” a series begun in 2000 by the college to present speakers who engage audiences in discussions focusing on critical thinking.

Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, has written at length about theories of justice, the fragility of human goodness and the intelligence of emotions. She stands for a worldview that pays attention to issues of diversity and economic and social justice. She has taught at Harvard, Brown and Oxford Universities, as well as served as a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research in Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University.

“Martha Nussbaum is truly among the great thinkers of our time, and she takes on the issues that matter most,” Casper said. “The Forum for Excellence brings speakers of her caliber to stimulate conversation and debate, to raise questions that will stay with us long after her visit.”

Nussbaum has been published in The New York Times, as well as provided many lively interviews on programs broadcast by PBS, the BBC and C-SPAN, to name a few.

Tickets are $35 for the public; $30 for seniors and members of KNPB, KUNR and the Nevada Alumni Association; $25 for University faculty and staff; and $5 for students. Complimentary parking is available on the fifth floor of the Brian Whalen Parking Garage, off North Virginia Street, just south of Lawlor Events Center. Proceeds from the event benefit the college’s “Fund for Excellence,” supporting scholarly, programming and equipment needs of the college.

For more information on the presentation or VIP “Meet the Speaker” opportunities, contact the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno, 775-682-8973. To purchase tickets, call 800-225-2277 or go to