Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



In Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities Martha Nussbaum joins many observers in arguing that the arts and humanities are under siege, threatened by budget cuts and a growing emphasis on professional training. When budget cuts do not eliminate university programs in the arts and humanities, they swell class size to the point that the traditional hallmarks of a humanistic education—class discussion, essay examinations, research assignments demanding critical thinking—become untenable. Instead, PowerPoint lecturing and multiple-choice exercises dominate, reinforcing the rote learning that standardized testing has already made the norm in K–12 education. A recent Wall Street Journal article, “How to Get a Real Education,” puts the stress on vocational preparation this way: “Forget art history and calculus. Most students need to learn how to run a business.”

Document Object Identifier (DOI)



Johns Hopkins University Press


Baltimore, MD

Publication Information

Philosophy and Literature