He does that in a very effective way by forcing the reader to face real life situations in which he is suppose to decide what the right thing to do is. In the first chapter he presents us with three case studies. In the first one he talks about laws against price gouging, and in particular he talks about what happened to prices in Florida after Hurricane Charley.
Given all this, it is with some trepidation that this reviewer has to declare himself in significant disagreement with him. Justice is primarily about the values that should underpin the state, politics and the law, with particular reference to Western pluralistic societies. Sandel presents us with a three-cornered debate between utilitarian, liberal and communitarian perspectives, in which the latter, heavily reinforced by a dose of neo-ristotelianism, emerges the victor.
Along the way we are treated to a wonderful exposition of the subtleties of these positions, as well as a forensic analysis of their limitations. Justice, Prof Sandel argues, has to have something to do with desert, that is, what people deserve.
That thought is at the heart of his next move, his discussion of liberalism. Liberal Justice Sandel starts this section by looking at libertarian philosophies, and particularly the work of the late Robert Nozick, best known for Anarchy, State and Utopia Firstly, Nozick argues that we can demand virtually nothing from our fellow citizens beyond that they leave us alone.
For Sandel this is problematic, in that some services we render to the community serving on juries, for example are things often taken to trump our claims to self-ownership.
However, we also recognise a kind of ultimate self-ownership in respect of these issues. The notion, for example, of conscientious objection is established in respect of military service, and we can imagine it being invoked in relation to other issues.
For Rawls, wealth was no guarantee of desert; nor was being male, or white, or heterosexual. Indeed, even talent is not an indicator of desert, because such talent is the product of chance and its value is reliant on the caprice of society, ie, on whether the talent is for something society currently values.
Kant and Rawls both think in terms of a kind of moral abstraction. For both of them, from the point of view of justice we have no particular identity but only a generalised humanity, such that conclusions about what is just pertain to all of us.
In other words, justice implies neutrality. Filling the guidance hole in virtue ethics, are culturally-specific stories about virtue which tell us what and who to value. There is no warm glow of belonging to be found in this model of justice, no sense of shared obligation or merit. There is an intriguing discussion of conflicts between group loyalty and abstract principle here.
There is psychological value to be gained from seeing ourselves as part of a meaningful story, but that seems rather short of a philosophical endorsement.
Other races, women, homosexuals, and even non-humans are now, for some, included in the circle of justice. It is plausible to say that a huge amount of good has followed from the willingness to step back from the particular in order to assert the universal.
I, for example, got quite misty-eyed last year listening to accounts of the Battle of Britain on its seventieth anniversary.
I got very upset when I saw an election broadcast in which a member of the BNP [an extreme right-wing party] posed in front of a Spitfire.
However, precisely because stories have this seductive quality, we should be hugely suspicious of them; especially so when they are enlisted for illiberal causes.
I asked the group how the law might be altered to bring about equality. The liberal option — the notion of abolishing the law of blasphemy altogether — did not even occur to them: Instead, what is absolutely important, is that your life is yours to live uncoerced in respect of what I referred to as your large-scale concept of the good.
Defending this principle is as close as I get to such a concept of the good myself. All of this should I hope inspire the reader to read Justice for themselves. I suspect that would please him, even if my conclusions do not. Michael Sandel Michael Sandel is a professor of political philosophy at Harvard.
It has been made into a twelve episode TV series, and is available to view online.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/5.
About articles, of which: About full-length scientific pieces, of which 17 were co-authored; 57 of the self-authored pieces were refereed, 45 were invited (in edited volumes, for example). Epictetus (c. 55 – CE) was born as a slave in the Roman Empire, but obtained his freedom as a teenager.
He studied Stoic philosophy from an early age, eventually lecturing on Stoicism in Rome. Technology can be viewed as an activity that forms or changes culture. Additionally, technology is the application of math, science, and the arts for the benefit of life as it is known.
John Rawls (—) John Rawls was arguably the most important political philosopher of the twentieth century. He wrote a series of highly influential articles in the s and ’60s that helped refocus Anglo-American moral and political philosophy on substantive problems about what we ought to do.
The Inequality Of Income Inequality - A similar event was appearing in Chile with its version of social reform. Their amendment was called Chile Solidario, implemented in , and designed to supersede the program at the time, Subsidio Unico Familiar.