Martha Nussbaum received her BA from New York University (1969) and her MA and PhD from Harvard (1972 and 1975, respectively). She taught philosophy and classics at Harvard in the 1970s and 1980s, before moving to Brown. Her 1986 book, The Fragility of Goodness, on ancient Greek ethics, made her a prominent figure throughout the social sciences and humanities. Nussbaum's other major area of philosophical work was on the emotions, where she specifically defended a neo-Stoic approach.
From 1986 to 1993 Nussbaum was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, a part of the United Nations University. She has chaired the Committee on International Cooperation, the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Philosophical Association and the Committee for Public Philosophy. She has been a member of the Association's National Board. Professor Nussbaum was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a member of its Council. She is also a member of the American Philosophical Society. In 2008 she was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. She has also been a member of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies. She has received honorary degrees from thirty-two colleges and universities internationally.
Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School and Divinity School. She is an associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, a member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and co-chair of the Human Rights Program. She is the founder and coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism and co-director of the Center for Laws, Philosophy and Human Values.
Her publications include Aristotle's De Motu Animalium (1978), The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986), Love's Knowledge (1990), The Therapy of Desire (1994), Poetic Justice (1996), For Love of Country (1996), Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defence of Reform in Liberal Education (1997), Sex and Social Justice (1998), Women and Human Development (2000), Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions (2001), Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (2004), Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006), The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future (2007), and Liberty of Conscience: In Defence of America's Tradition of Religious Equality (2008).