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Martha C. Nussbaum

Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 2012

At its meeting held in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2012 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, composed of Ms Inés Alberdi, Mr Lluis Xabel Fernández Álvarez, Gonzalo Anes y Álvarez de Castrillón, Marquess of Castrillón, Ms Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, Mr José Luis García Delgado, Mr Severino García Vigón, Mr Mauro Guillén Rodríguez, Ms Carmen Iglesias Cano, Mr Adolfo Menéndez Menéndez, Mr Manuel Menéndez Menéndez, Mr Manuel Olivencia Ruiz, Mr José Manuel Otero Novas, Ms Carmen Pérez Die, Mr Rafael Puyol Antolín, chaired by Aurelio Menéndez Menéndez, Marquess of Ibias, and with Mr Juan Vázquez García acting as secretary, has decided to bestow the 2012 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences on the American philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum, who has a profound knowledge of Greek thought, for her contribution to the Humanities, the Philosophy of Law and Politics and for her ethical conception of economic development.

One of the most innovative and influential voices of contemporary philosophy, Martha C. Nussbaum advocates a universalistic conception of human dignity and women’s rights to overcome the limits of cultural relativism. Her theories are based on the belief that those who have a different understanding of what good is can agree on a number of universal ethical principles that are applicable wherever a situation of inequality and injustice arises. Martha C. Nussbaum defends the role of the humanities in education as an essential element for the quality of democracy.

Professor Nussbaum has addressed the study of economic development and ethics understanding poverty as a deprivation of human capabilities, an approach that has had a major impact on diverse international organisations. The ethical dimension is present throughout her work and she has taken an active part in the major social and economic debates of our time.

Oviedo, 16th May 2012

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