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In her new book Monarchy of Fear, famed philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum identifies fear as the oldest and deepest of our emotions. Fear takes hold in our earliest infancy, when we can experience need but we can’t act. And it lurks underneath our psyches, communities, and polities forever after that.

This is a conversation about what fear is and how it shapes our worldviews and our politics. It’s also a conversation about what hope is, and whether embracing it is a choice we can, and should, make. Nussbaum is one of our greatest living philosophers. The way she thinks about politics, and her effort to recenter emotions at the core of both political and philosophical inquiry, is worth hearing.

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