Given her rhetorical ferocity, I was surprised to find that Nussbaum was so soft-spoken when we met in her airy apartment in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Dressed simply in a white T-shirt and black spandex leggings, she was tall and striking, with a square jaw and wavy, shoulder-length blond hair. Although she casually curled up on her living-room sofa, once we begin to talk it became apparent that there was little soft about her. She answered every question exhaustively, with a steely precision that let you practically see the footnotes hovering in the air. Her hair was still damp from a grueling Sunday routine: a 12-mile run along Lake Michigan followed by weight-lifting, intended as preparation for a fall marathon. (Because she “detests earphones,” she later told me, she runs to a mental soundtrack: fully memorized extracts from “The Marriage of Figaro.”)
Robert S. Boynton, “Who Needs Philosophy? A profile of Martha Nussbaum”
A superb philosopher, when she’s not writing, trains for a marathon with great opera in her head. If you’re looking for an example of aretê, this is it.