USD Welcomes Kyoto Prize Winner Martha Nussbaum for Two March 16 Events

Martha Craven Nussbaum, recipient of the 2016 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, will be giving two presentations on the USD campus March 16 at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m.Martha Craven Nussbaum, recipient of the 2016 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, will be giving two presentations on the USD campus March 16 at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m.

Philosopher Dr. Martha Craven Nussbaum, recipient of the prestigious 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, Thought and Ethics, will be at the University of San Diego on Thursday, March 16 for the 15th annual Kyoto Prize Symposium, giving one presentation in the morning and another in the afternoon.

The morning program, taking place at 10:30 a.m. inside Shiley Theatre, honors Nussbaum. Her talk, titled, “Philosophy in the Service of Humanity,” highlights the 90-minute event. The RSVPs for this free event, which is open to the public, have reached capacity.

In the afternoon, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Joan B. Kroc Peace and Justice Theatre, Nussbaum, along with Philosophy Professor and USD Humanities Center Director Brian Clack, will discuss “Anger and Revolutionary Justice.” This event is free to attend and is open to the public, but RSVPs (register here) are required.

“Capabilities Approach”

Nussbaum, currently the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and author of more than a dozen major books, is best known as champion of the "Capabilities Approach." This involves the effort to incorporate the concept of individual human capabilities (what each person is able to do or be) into the criteria for social justice beyond the conventional theory of equality based on a social contract among rational individuals. She established a new theory of justice that ensures the inclusion of the weak and marginalized, who are deprived of opportunities to develop their capabilities in society, and has proposed ways to apply this theory in the real world. 

The Kyoto Prize Laureate is the author or editor of a number of books, including The Fragility of Goodness (1986), Sex and Social Justice (1998), The Sleep of Reason (2002), Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (2004), Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006), and Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs Humanities (2010). 

Kyoto Prize 

The Kyoto Prize, created and funded by the Inamori Foundation, is an international award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind. Consisting of academic honors, a gold medal and a cash gift of approximately $450,000, the Kyoto Prize is Japan's highest private award for achievement.

The prize is presented annually in each of the following three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. 

Kyoto Prize laureates are announced each June. The prize presentation ceremony and related events are held in Kyoto, Japan, each November.

Each spring, the laureates take part in a symposium in San Diego with one appearing and giving a presentation at San Diego State, one at UC San Diego and one at USD on three consecutive days. Thanks to a grant from the Inamori Foundation, and many generous supporters, the symposium lectures are open to the public at no charge.

The symposium provides an opportunity for an international audience to learn about the achievements of the laureates and to discuss the relationship between their accomplishments and the common quest for peace and harmony in our world. Each year, the symposium features addresses by the latest Kyoto Prize Laureates and responses by esteemed scholars in the laureates' fields. It includes representatives of business, government, independent peacemaking organizations, and academic institutions and societies.

The first symposium was held at the USD in 2002. In 2005, the presentation sites were expanded to include UC San Diego and San Diego State. A gala celebration has been added as an opening event and forum to introduce the winners of the Kyoto Scholarships, awarded to high school students from San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.