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Martha Nussbaum on Universalism - Dictionary of Arguments

Brocker I 898
Universalism/Nussbaum: International feminism, which wants to develop political bite, must accept normative recommendations that cross the boundaries of culture, nation, religion, race, class (cf. Nussbaum 2002(1)).
VsUniversalism: for this very reason it is often exposed to accusations of "westernization" and "colonization". It is considered problematic to presuppose and use concepts such as dignity, freedom, and the integrity of the body that have arisen in one cultural context in order to evaluate realities in another (...).
NussbaumVsVs: 1. the "argument from culture", 2. the "argument from the good of diversity" and 3. the "argument from paternalism":
Brocker I 899
NussbaumVsCulture Relativism: Argument 1. belongs to cultural relativism. Especially in times of global media networking, it is difficult to distinguish which norms come from within a culture and which are imposed from outside.(2)
2. Diversity: according to this argument, the world is rich precisely because we do not all agree on a single set of categories, but speak different languages of value.
NussbaumVs: Traditions are not worth preserving per se. The objection does not undermine the search for universal values, it makes them virtually necessary, because a framework is necessary for the evaluation of traditions.
3. Paternalism: Thesis: by applying a set of universal norms as a yardstick to the different societies of the world, we show too little respect for people's freedom of action and, derived from this, underestimate their role as democratic citizens.
NussbaumVsVs: a universalist approach would eliminate paternalistic tendencies of illiberal subgroups in favour of strengthening the ability of individual action.
Brocker I 900
UniversalismVsColonialism/Nussbaum: Why not stick to the claim of universalisation? "[F]ar from being colonialist, ideas of individual life-control and life-planning are an expression of the struggle against colonialism«.(3)

1. Martha C. Nussbaum, »Die feministische Kritik des Liberalismus«, in: dies., Konstruktionen der Liebe, des Begehrens und der Fürsorge. Drei philosophische Aufsätze, Stuttgart 2002, 15-89.
2. Ibid. p. 49
3. Ibid. p. 68

Sandra Seubert, „Martha C. Nussbaum, Women and Human Development (2000)“, in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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