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Martha Nussbaum's Journal
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Below are the 3 most recent journal entries recorded in Martha Nussbaum's LiveJournal:

Sunday, April 10th, 2005
6:20 pm
Aristophanic Socrates
Calling all Classics enthusiasts. I am currently researching the 'Socrates character' in Aristopanes' Clouds in relation to Plato's and Xenophon's versions for a 10,000 word paper. I have been bouncing ideas around my had as for a title for days now and seem to be getting nowhere fast! I am particularly interested in the phusis / nomos argument, the debate between "Right" and "Anti-Right", Pheidippides and Strepsiades and the relation of all of this to Aristophanes' view of Socrates, or at least the caricature of him he desires to create.

So far I have thought along the lines of "Clouds: Aristophanic anti-Socratic propaganda?" which leaves ample scope for discussion in all directions.

If anybody has any view on the whole issue I would love to hear from you,

Have fun!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005
1:13 am
A royal welcome to all from the community czar
It is heartening to see that martha_nussbaum has already been honored with calling cards and tributes from Nussbaum enthusiasts, even though the moderator has been a bit late in addressing members with a proper greeting. (The official duties of procrastination are very serious and cannot be frivolously dismissed. Discharging these duties has been keeping me very busy in recent weeks).

Do jump in with gusto (in the tradition of our inaugural poster daskalidi) to relish, discuss, analyze, interrogate (maybe even devastatingly refute) the work of Martha C. Nussbaum, whether the subject be her contributions to philosophy, classical Greek, academic warfare, or running marathons. The world of Nussbaum’s ideas can be reached and explored through many different disciplinary paths. This community has been established to gather different travelers together for exchanging observations and advice.

On a more personal note, my attention is currently fastened upon her defense and exposition of the case for ethical criticism in literature. Literary devices are not just aesthetic, morally inert forms but actually serve to educate the reader in developing empathetic knowledge of Others. Moral dimensions can't credibly be erased or displaced from inquiries into the aesthetic properties of a text. After skimming through Poetic Justice, Love’s Knowledge, and Upheavals of Thought (not to mention the entertaining debate in the journal Philosophy and Literature in which she co-starred with Wayne Booth and Richard Posner), I am re-reading some of the prose fictions which Nussbaum examines in the essays published in those volumes. Nussbaum's literary interpretations make fascinating and riveting reading in themselves, but it would be rewarding to move on to the rest of her oeuvre (in particular her collaborative efforts with Amartya Sen on social development in the Third World) some time soon.
Monday, March 7th, 2005
2:03 pm
It is a great honour for me to be the first to write on the society named after one of the most prominent philologists of our century. I believe it is impossible now to speak about Greek drama and philosophy without using "The Fragility of Goodness" of Martha Nussbaum. I would like to open the discussion on one particular topic. The chapter of "The Fragility" about Sophocles' "Antigone" is very profound and thought-provocing, but the "one-sidedness" of the heroine seems to be over-emphasized here. In particular, professor Nussbaum interpretes the word "autonomos" in v. 821 as "living by her own law". But the rest of the Sophocles' text doesn't support this interpretation. On the contrary, what Antigone is living by and dying for is common, aeternal, divine law, agrapta nomima. I couldn't find, even with the aid of Nussbaum's book, anything in her words or behaviour that contradict that law. The meaning of the word "autonomos" seems to be "having law (I mean aeternal, divine law) in oneself". I haven't yet found any parallel usage of "autonomos", but such a usage of "auto-" certainly exists (e. g. Aesch. Suppl. 9 autogenes "in-born".) I will be very glad to hear the opinion of collegues on this topic.
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