What are our obligations to others as people in a free society? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Is the free market fair? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? Do individual rights and the common good conflict? Michael J. Sandel's "Justice" course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. Up to a thousand students pack the campus theater to hear Sandel relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and this fall, public television will air a series based on the course.
Justice offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates Harvard students. This book is a searching, lyrical exploration of the meaning of justice, one that invites readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways.
Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, patriotism and dissent, the moral limits of markets - Sandel dramatizes the challenge of thinking through these conflicts, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well.
Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise--an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.
“A remarkable educational achievement…. Generations of students and educated citizens will be very well served by Sandel’s introductory overviews.”- Amitai Etzioni, Hedgehog Review
“Reading ‘Justice’ by Michael Sandel is an intoxicating invitation to take apart and examine how we arrive at our notions of right and wrong….This is enlivening stuff. Sandel is not looking to win an argument; he’s looking at how a citizen might best engage the public realm.”- Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“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