n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Education for women : a consideration of the philosophical issues in dialogue with Martha Nussbaum : research article

Volume 76, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0023-270X



In some countries in the world, education for women is considered to be unnecessary, undesirable or in conflict with religious principles. Contrary to these points of view, Martha Nussbaum argues that education is important and good. It is one of the capabilities which women need to live a flourishing life.

According to Nussbaum, education is a universal value. Pluralists, however, are of the opinion that considering education to be a universal value, in fact, constitutes the imposition of a western value on other cultures. They consider this to be wrong. Nussbaum agrees with this, arguing that we should respect other cultures and that it is not her aim to impose values on them.
In this article, I will investigate how Nussbaum seeks to reconcile her universalism (education as universal value) with the pluralist respect for the choices made in other cultures. I begin by describing Nussbaum's view of education as a capability. I then discuss three examples of arguments through which Nussbaum attempts to close the gap between universalism and pluralism as well as her notions of context and practical judgement.
In conclusion, I argue that although Nussbaum has made a significant contribution to the universalism-pluralism debate, these two positions have not been completely reconciled.

Die opvoeding van vroue word in sommige lande as onnodig beskou, onwenslik of in stryd met godsdienstige beginsels. Hierteenoor argumenteer Martha Nussbaum dat opvoeding 'n belangrike en goeie waarde op sigself is. Dit is een van die bekwaamhede wat vroue benodig om 'n vervulde lewe te lei.
Volgens Nussbaum is opvoeding 'n universele waarde. Daarteenoor betoog sommige pluraliste dat die beskouing van opvoeding as universele waarde in werklikheid neerkom op die afdwinging van 'n westerse kulturele waarde op ander kulture. Volgens hulle mag dit nie gebeur nie. Nussbaum is dit hiermee eens en betoog dat ander kulture gerespekteer behoort te word en dat dit nie haar bedoeling is om waardes op hulle af te dwing nie. In hierdie artikel toon ek aan hoe Nussbaum probeer om haar universalisme (opvoeding as universele waarde) te versoen met die pluralistiese respek vir die keuses wat in ander kulture gemaak word. Eers word Nussbaum se siening van opvoeding as bekwaamheid ("capability") beskryf. Daarna kom drie argumente aan die beurt aan die hand waarvan Nussbaum die kloof tussen universalisme en pluralisme, sowel as haar opvattings oor konteks en praktiese oordeel, probeer oorbrug.
Ten slotte word argumenteer dat Nussbaum 'n betekenisvolle bydrae tot die universalisme-pluralisme debat gelewer het, maar dat hierdie twee posisies nogtans nie heeltemal versoen is nie.

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