Michael Sandel's Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? invites readers of all ages and political persuasions on a journey of moral reflection, and shows how reasoned debate can illuminate our lives.
Is it always wrong to lie?
Should there be limits to personal freedom?
Can killing sometimes be justified?
Is the free market fair?
What is the right thing to do?
Questions like these are at the heart of our lives. In this acclaimed book Michael Sandel - BBC Reith Lecturer and the Harvard professor whose 'Justice' course has become world famous - gives us a lively and accessible introduction to the intersection of politics and philosophy. He helps us think our way through such hotly contested issues as equal rights, democracy, euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage, as well as the ethical dilemmas we face every day.
'One of the most popular teachers in the world' - Observer
'Enormously refreshing ... Michael Sandel transforms moral philosophy by putting it at the heart of civic debate' - New Statesman
'One of the world's most interesting political philosophers' - Guardian
'Spellbinding' - The Nation
One of the world's most interesting political philosophers * Guardian *Justice
is a lucid and compelling analysis of our current moral dilemmas, which argues for a new commitment to citizenship and the common good * Shirley Williams *
In the beautifully concise explanations of American philosopher Michael Sandel, I see great insight into our current predicaments. If any political reckoning is on its way . . . then perhaps it might come from the philosophy department of Harvard * Madeleine Bunting *
Michael Sandel, perhaps the most prominent college professor in America,...practices the best kind of academic populism, managing to simplify John Stuart Mill and John Rawls without being simplistic. But Sandel is best at what he calls bringing 'moral clarity to the alternatives we confront as democratic citizens'.... He ends up clarifying a basic political divide - not between left and right, but between those who recognize nothing greater than individual rights and choices, and those who affirm a 'politics of the common good,' rooted in moral beliefs that can't be ignored
-- Michael Gerson * Washington Post *
Michael Sandel transforms moral philosophy by putting it at the heart of civic debate....Sandel's insistence on the inescapably ethical character of political debate is enormously refreshing -- Edward Skidelsky * New Statesman *
A spellbinding philosopher.... For Michael Sandel, justice is not a spectator sport.... He is calling for nothing less than a reinvigoration of citizenship -- Samuel Moyn * The Nation *
An ambitious and an appealing idea. Intriguingly, I find myself persuaded that it might well be worth a try * Lisa Jardine, The Times *
More than exhilarating; exciting in its ability to persuade this student/reader, time and again, that the principle now being invoked-on this page, in this chapter-is the one to deliver the sufficiently inclusive guide to the making of a decent life -- Vivien Gornick * Boston Review *
Sandel explains theories of justice...with clarity and immediacy; the ideas of Aristotle, Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Robert Nozick and John Rawls have rarely, if ever, been set out as accessibly... In terms we can all understand, Justice
confronts us with the concepts that lurk, so often unacknowledged, beneath our conflicts -- Jonathan Rauch * New York Times *
This book is absolutely indispensable for anyone who wants to be a good citizen. It shows how to balance competing values, a talent our nation desperately needs nowadays -- Walter Isaacson, author of 'Benjamin Franklin: An American Life'
Sandel dazzles in this sweeping survey of hot topics.... Erudite, conversational and deeply humane, this is truly transformative reading * Publishers Weekly, starred review *
Hard cases may make bad laws, but in Michael Sandel's hands they produce some cool philosophy.... Justice is a timely plea for us to desist from political bickering and see if we can have a sensible discussion about what sort of society we really want to live in -- Jonathan Ree * The Observer *
A road map for negotiating modern moral dilemmas... For those seeking a short course through moral philosophy from a witty writer, fast on his feet, and nimble with his pen, this thin volume is difficult to beat -- Kevin J. Hamilton * Seattle Times *
There have been various attempts over the decades to bury moral philosophy -- to dismiss convictions about right and wrong as cultural prejudices, or secretions of the brain, or matters so personal they shouldn't even affect our private lives. But moral questions always return, as puzzles and as tragedies. Would we push a hefty man onto a railroad track to save the lives of five others? Should Petty Officer 1st Class Marcus Luttrell, in June of 2005, have executed a group of Afghan goatherds who, having stumbled on his position, might inform the enemy about his unit? (Luttrell let them go, the Taliban attacked, and three of his comrades died.) These examples and others -- price-gouging after Hurricane Katrina, affirmative action, gay marriage -- are all grist for the teaching of Michael Sandel, perhaps the most prominent college professor in America. His popular class at Harvard -- Moral Reasoning 22: Justice -- attracts about a sixth of all undergraduates. For those lacking $49,000 a year in tuition and board, he has written Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?
which has been further translated into a PBS series and a Web site, JusticeHarvard.org -- Michael Gerson * Wall Street Journal *
Michael Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at the University of Harvard. Sandel's legendary 'Justice' course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. In 2007, Harvard made Sandel's course available to alumni around the world through webstreaming and podcasting. Over 5,000 participants signed up, and Harvard Clubs from Mexico to Australia organized local discussion groups in connection with the course. In May 2007, Sandel delivered a series of lectures at major universities in China and he has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne, Paris. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. Sandel is the author of many books and has previously written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic and the New York Times. He was the 2009 BBC Reith Lecturer.