Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities

By Martha C. Nussbaum | Go to book overview
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I
The Silent Crisis

Education is that process by which thought is opened out
of the soul, and, associated with outward things, is reflected
back upon itself, and thus made conscious of their reality
and shape.

—Bronson Alcott, Massachusetts educator, c. 1850

[W]hile making use of [material possessions], man has to
be careful to protect himself from [their] tyranny. If he is
weak enough to grow smaller to fit himself to his covering,
then it becomes a process of gradual suicide by shrinkage
of the soul.

—Rabindranath Tagore, Indian educator, c. 1917

We are in the midst of a crisis of massive proportions and grave global significance. No, I do not mean the global economic crisis that began in 2008. At least then everyone knew that a crisis was at hand, and many world leaders worked quickly and desperately to find solutions. Indeed, consequences for governments were grave if they did not find solutions, and many were replaced in consequence. No, I mean a crisis that goes largely unnoticed, like a cancer; a crisis that is likely to be, in the long run, far more

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