Next year, the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum will be honored with the Spinozalens 2022. This was announced on 24 November 2021 by Prof. Jet Bussemaker, chairwoman of the jury and former Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science. Nussbaum will be honored for her contribution to ethical reflections on the theme of health, risk and society. As always, the members of the Spinozalens jury also chose to honor a historical thinker as laureate for 2021: the French philosopher Michel Foucault. He will be honored with educational material, which will be released at the beginning of 2022.
The names of the laureates were revealed during an online meeting on November 24, which was recorded in The Amare Theater in The Hague in the presence of Mayor Jan van Zanen.
Fragility and capabilities
In its report, the jury praises Martha Nussbaum (1947) as an original and eminent thinker. She discusses a broad range of topics that are extremely relevant to the public discussion of healthcare and the (global) distribution issues that come with it. Throughout her work, Nussbaum uses both Western and Eastern sources and gives much attention to the contrasts between North and South, which has inspired wildly different audiences.
Two books stand out in this regard. Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach (2011) is hugely important due to the substantial theories about social justice that Nussbaum deals with. Those theories perfectly fit the complex problems we are facing from globalisation in general and the pandemic in particular. Of equal importance is her earlier book The Fragility of Goodness (1986, revised edition 2001), partly because it takes into account the vulnerability and powerlessness associated with these complex issues.
Martha Nussbaum will receive the Spinozalens during a public event on November 17th 2022 in The Hague. In the run up to this ceremony, the board of the International Spinoza Award Foundation will organize a design competition for young people in the Netherlands and Flanders. The competition will invite them to reflect on the future of vulnerable youngsters in society from the perspective of Nussbaum’s theory of capabilities.
Read more at International Spinoza Award Foundation