Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Strauß and Giroux)
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, etc. Sandel dramatizes the challenge of thinking through these conficts, 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.
Michael J. Sandel is a political philosopher and professor at Harvard University, where his course Justice was the first to be available for free online and on television. He is also known for his critic to A Theory of Justice by John Rawls, in his firts book Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (1982). He is the author of multiple books such as Democracy’s Discontent, Public Philosophy: Ethics on Morality in Politics or The tyranny of merit : what’s become of the common good?. Furthermore, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2002.