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Cosmopolitanism sounds good in theory, but can it work?

The philosopher Martha Nussbaum has her doubts

By Ada Bronowski   October 2019
One of Nussbaum's heroes—Adam Smith Source: Wikipedia

One of Nussbaum's heroes—Adam Smith Source: Wikipedia

In her latest contribution to her extensive work on humane values and how to attain them, the philosopher Martha Nussbaum examines cosmopolitanism—defined as describing yourself as a human being first, and a national citizen second. Through an analysis of texts from antiquity and their reception in modern times, she traces the guiding principles of a tradition she sees as taking an overriding concern in the dignity of fellow human beings regardless of race, religion, state or sex.

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