As an undergraduate, I studied the Greek and Roman classics, and I went to graduate school in classics intending to work on the presentation of moral issues in various Greek and Roman tragedies.
Politicians are at a great distance from the academic world. Barack Obama was my colleague at Chicago - but could i ever talk to him now? Never.
I wish a person with a record of competence such as Nitish Kumar would get a chance to lead India.
Disgust is often more deeply buried than envy and anger, but it compounds and intensifies the other negative emotions.
On the whole, the accommodationist position has been dominant in U.S. law and public culture ─ ever since George Washington wrote a famous letter to the Quakers explaining that he would not require them to serve in the military because the 'conscientious scruples of all men' deserve the greatest 'delicacy and tenderness.'
You have to connect your work to what people are doing. A good way is to construct a bridge between theory and practice - Amartya Sen and I tried this by founding the Human Development and Capabilities Association where practitioners meet theoreticians and their discourse influences practice.
Clothing that covers the body can be comfortable or uncomfortable, depending on the fabric. In India I typically wear a full salwaar kameez of cotton, because it is superbly comfortable, and full covering keeps dust off one's limbs and at least diminishes the risk of skin cancer.
Every single university student should study philosophy. You need to lead the examined life and question your beliefs. If you don't learn critical thinking, then political debate degenerates into a contest of slogans.
The first thing you get from the humanities, when they're well taught, is critical thinking. Philosophy in particular can play that role, not just in universities but in schools as well.
In general, I agree with Socrates that what democracies badly need is the examined life, and we need to think critically about ourselves.
Gandhi, when he was on the salt march, had everyone singing the song of Rabindranath Tagore, which goes, 'Walk alone, walk alone...' Now there's some paradox in that, with a million people on the march! But he was cultivating the thought that each individual has dignity, and the dignity consists partly in the willingness to stand up to authority.
The imagination is an innate gift, but it needs refinement and cultivation; this is what the humanities provide.
When I was four I joined a group of girls who were talking about their party dresses. I thought they were imagining, so I imagined a fantastic pink velvet dress with lots of jewels. But they were simply describing what they actually wore, and they had utter contempt for my obvious fiction. After that, I never joined a group again.
I think we've lost the idea that politicians are part of the humanities. And we think of them as part of a natural science tradition, and we don't expect them to have the contact with literature, with history, with the richness of descriptive language that the humanities have always stood for. And I think that's a great loss.
At first I imagined I'd write detective novels, because I loved 'Nancy Drew.'
Disgust for the female body is always tinged with anxiety, since the body symbolizes mortality.
Disgust and shame are inherently hierarchical; they set up ranks and orders of human beings. They are also inherently connected with restrictions on liberty in areas of non-harmful conduct.
When I am disgusted by certain American politicians, I fantasize moving away to Finland - a country in which I have worked a little, and which I see as a pure blue and green place of unpolluted lakes, peaceful forests, and pristine social-democratic values.
I really disliked Philadelphia society - really, deeply disliked it. I spent a lot of my teenage years writing poetry attacking it.
I thought as an actress I would be able to have broader emotional experiences, but then I quickly figured out that I wanted to think about tragic dramas, not act in them.