• Nussbaum appeals to the importance of the humanities in the scientific training at the University of Oviedo

    October 25, 2012

    The winner of the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences visited the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters to open the exhibition and talk with students and lecturers

    From the left to the right, Lucía Rodríguez Noriega Guillén, Martha Nussbaum, Armando Menéndez Viso and Socorro Suárez Lafuente.

    The philosopher Martha Nussbaum, awarded with the Prince of Asturias for Social Sciences, visited yesterday , Wednesday, the Historic Building of the University of Oviedo to give a lecture in the Auditorium.

    The Rector, Vicente Gotor, welcomed the American philosopher, who signed the Honorary Guestbook of the University. Prior to the conference and recalling Aristotle, Nassbaum went around LAUDEO's courtyard accompanied by three lecturers at the University of Oviedo: Armando Menéndez Viso, Socorro Suárez Lafuente and Lucía Rodríguez Noriega Guillén.

    In her speech, Nussbaum defended the importance of the humanities in the curricula of students of applied sciences. During the discussion, the philosopher assured the others that fostering imagination, creativity and critical thinking is crucial for development, as it is proved with countries such as China or Singapore, who are currently introducing the humanities in degrees in sciences after realising that they are beneficial for professional opportunities.

    "We need training that explains a critical analysis in detail", has said Nussbaum after reminding the present that Socrates said no one thinks by his own and that Plato stressed the value of conversation as a method.

    Meeting with experts

    Martha Nassbaum, Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, had an encounter this morning with lecturers and experts in the field of humanities and social sciences in the Cultural Centre LAUDEO (Historic Building).

    Chaired by the lecturer at the University of Oviedo, Armando Menéndez Viso, and in a business breakfast in the University Chapel, the philospher dealt with several current issues for more than an hour and a half. Nussbaum talked about the role of the State in the development of main abilities, nationalisms and defended inclusive patritism.

    The North American thinker talked with around ten experts in different fields of study like Art, Philosophy or Economics on current social issues, teaching and also feelings. Naussbaum defended the role of art in the transmission of emotions and made reference to the idea of happiness and welfare from the point of view of theories on behavioral economics.

    Among other issues, the prizewinner also defended the development of active anti- sexual harassment policies, specially for gays and lesbians, which could be introduced as laws.

    Act at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters

    This morning, students and lecturers packed the hall of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters to listen to Martha Nussbaum. The Vice-Rector for University Extension and Communication, Vicente Domínguez, and the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, Cristina Valdés, were in charge of welcoming the winner of the Award for Social Sciences.

    The music was a milestone of the programme with the performance of Mozart's Non più di fiori by María Encina Cortizo and Ramón Sobrino, lecturers at the Department of History of Art and Musicology.

    Nussbaum visited the retrospective Entrehumanos,which collects some outstanding Spanish philosophical texts which she approached for being interested in their work.

    Sitting at the table with lecturers and students at the Faculty, Nussbaum asked their questions and mentioned that her next book, entitles Political Emotions, Political Emotions, will focus on the human abilities to understand others and how education is a crucial element for getting it and reach the common good.

    The thinker considered the achievement of social justice worldwide as a "great philosophical challenge in this XXI century" and stood for a "change of heart" in which we begin to think that the world's citizens should be provided with the ten main skills to achieve a global undertanding and balance.

    The unveiling of a commemorative plaque of the act brought to an end the visit of the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences.