Martha Nussbaum and Diane Wood, "Constitutions and Capabilities"

In this talk, subtitled "A Dialogue about Political Philosophy and the Judge's Role," Professor Nussbaum discussed her "capabilities approach," a normative approach to basic political principles that has implications for how constitutions should be both written and interpreted. Judge Wood approached the topic pragmatically, asking to what extent a judge could really use such a normative approach of this sort, and what the consequences might be. Martha Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. Diane P. Wood is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Chicago’s Best Ideas, a lecture series begun in honor of the University of Chicago Law School’s Centennial, highlights the intellectual innovations of the School’s distinguished faculty. This talk was recorded on February 2, 2009.