Philosopher, Martha Nussbaum in The Therapy of Desire, 1994

 

“The idea of a practical and compassionate philosophy—a philosophy that exists for the sake of human beings, in order to address their deepest needs, confront their most urgent perplexities, and bring them from misery to some greater measure of flourishing…

The writer and teacher of philosophy is a lucky person, fortunate, as few human beings are, to be able to spend her life expressing her most serious thoughts and feelings about the problems that have moved and fascinated her most. But this exhilarating and wonderful life is also part of the world as a whole, a world in which hunger, illiteracy, and disease are the daily lot of a large proportion of the human beings who still exist, as well as causes of death for many who do not still exist. A life of leisured self-expression is, for most of the world’s people, a dream so distant that it can rarely even be found. The contrast between these two images of human life gives rise to a question: What business does anyone have living in the happy and self-expressive world, so long as the other world exists and one is a part of it?”