On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X
DERKSEN, L.D.. Education for women: A consideration of the philosophical issues in dialogue with Martha Nussbaum. Koers (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.76, n.1, pp.59-75. ISSN 2304-8557.
In some countries in the world, education for women is considered to be unnecessary, undesirable or in conflict with religious principles. Contrary to these points of view, Martha Nussbaum argues that education is important and good. It is one of the capabilities which women need to live a flourishing life. According to Nussbaum, education is a universal value. Pluralists, however, are of the opinion that considering education to be a universal value, in fact, constitutes the imposition of a western value on other cultures. They consider this to be wrong. Nussbaum agrees with this, arguing that we should respect other cultures and that it is not her aim to impose values on them. In this article, I will investigate how Nussbaum seeks to reconcile her universalism (education as universal value) with the pluralist respect for the choices made in other cultures. I begin by describing Nussbaum's view of education as a capability. I then discuss three examples of arguments through which Nussbaum attempts to close the gap between universalism and pluralism as well as her notions of context and practical judgement. In conclusion, I argue that although Nussbaum has made a significant contribution to the universalism-pluralism debate, these two positions have not been completely reconciled.
Keywords : education for women; freedom of religion; Nussbaum; Martha; universalism and pluralism.