Journal Articles

Nussbaum, M. C. (1992). Human functioning and social justice: In defence of Aristotelian essentialism. Political Theory, 20(2), 202–246.

Martha Nussbaum defends essentialism as it relates to the characteristics of human beings and human functioning against arguments for extreme relativist traditionalism that blindly promote the value of accepting 'otherness'. In the process she explains essentialism and relativism, what it means to have an essentialist view of reality, and the internal contradictions of subjectivity with regard to human life. If we can have no standards, then we have no basis for evaluation and market rules apply. These are rarely benign with respect to minorities. She then proposes ten features of her essentialist notion that defines the overall shape and content of the human form of life.