When It Comes to Politics, Be Afraid. But Not Too Afraid.

When It Comes to Politics, Be Afraid. But Not Too Afraid.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

The philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum wants Americans to get in touch with their feelings; not in a fit of self-indulgence but as a righteous act of civic duty. In “The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis,” she writes against a (mostly male) tradition of philosophical and political thinking that minimizes emotions as merely a source of irrationality and embarrassment.

With more than two dozen books to her name, Nussbaum has been here before. Her ample body of work casts feelings as not just worthy of study but essential for understanding our political selves.

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