2020-02Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
Animal Polis, or, Why Ethics Cannot Rule Politics


/Review: Martha Nussbaum, The Cosmopolitan Tradition: A Noble but Flawed Ideal (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019), 310 pages./

For decades Martha Nussbaum allied herself whole-heartedly with cosmopolitanism. No longer. She appealed at length to the righteousness of Stoic cosmopolitanism in past publications such as Cultivating Humanity in 1997. Now, according to The Cosmopolitan Tradition, that founding ideal cannot be right. She presently advocates what may be called “ethical nationalism” since no system of political internationalism could be good enough. A reassessment of cosmopolitanism by this unimpeachable expert must be considered carefully. Despite saying that “cosmopolitanism” is a term “too vague to be useful,” her chapters are replete with tenets taken as essential to this tradition that she must reluctantly abandon. To reach higher for social justice, ethical nations should “Brexit” from frail international systems still failing the multitudes. Rights are global, but enforcement is local.

How to cite:

Shook, John R. “Animal Polis, or, Why Ethics Cannot Rule Politics.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 2 (2020):  162-165. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0024.


John R. Shook
School of Continuing Studies, Georgetown University
640 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

Open Access Statement:

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Submitting a text to Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture means that the author agrees with the general conditions of this license. The author does and will maintain copyrights and publishing rights for his/her article without any restrictions.