Michael J. Sandel

Michael J. Sandel ( / s æ n d ɛ l / ; born March 5, 1953) is an American political philosopher and a political philosophy professor at Harvard University . His course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. It has leg viewed by chains or millions of people around the world, zoals in China, where Sandel was named the “Most Influential foreign figures of the year.” (China Newsweek). [1] He is best known for the Harvard course “Justice” and for his critique of John Rawls ‘ A Theory of Justice in his first book, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (1982). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. [2]


Sandel was born in Minneapolis to a Jewish [3] family, welke moved to Los Angeles -when he was thirteen. He was president of his senior class at Palisades High School (1971) and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree in politics (1975). He RECEIVED his doctorate from Balliol College, Oxford , as a Rhodes Scholar , where he studied under philosopher Charles Taylor .

Philosophical views

Sandel subscribes to a certainement version of communitarianism (hoewel de have been uncomfortable with the label), and in this vein have been perhaps best known for his critique of John Rawls ‘ A Theory of Justice . Rawls’ argument depends on the assumption of the auction or ignorance , welke he claims Allows us to Become “unencumbered selves”.

Sandel’s view is dat we are by nature encumbered to an EXTENT dat makes it impossible even in the HYPOTHETICAL to port zoals a veil. Some examples of industry leaders sequences are Those with our families, welke we do not do with conscious choice but are born with, Already attached. Because they ‘are not consciously acquired, it is impossible to separate oneself from industry leaders positions. Sandel convinced dat only a less-restrictive, looser version of the auction or ignorance arnt be postulated. Criticism zoals Sandel’s inspired Rawls to subsequently argue dat his theory of justice was not a “metaphysical” theory but a “political” one, a base on welke an overriding consensus Could be formally onder personen and groups with many différent moral and political views. [4]



Sandel has taught the famous “Justice” [5] course at Harvard for two decades. More than 15,000 students harbor tasks the course, making it one of the musts highly attended in Harvard’s history. The fall 2007 class was the Toilets editor at Harvard , with a total of 1,115 students. [6] The fall 2005 course was Recorded, and is offered online for students through the Harvard Extension School.

An Abridged form of this recording is now a 12-episode TV series, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? In a co-production of WGBH and Harvard University. Episodes are available on the Justice with Michael Sandel website. [7] [8] Er is ook een accompanying book, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? and the source book of readings Justice: A Reader .

The popularity of the show is Attributed to the discussion-oriented format (the Socratic method ) -rather dan recitation and memorization of facts-and to Sandel’s Engaging styles Incorporating context JSON discussion; for example, he starts one lecture with a discussion of the ethics of ticket scalping . [9]

The BBC broadcast eight 30-minute segments from the series on BBC Four starting on 25 January 2011. [10]

In April 2012, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a three-part series Presented by Professor Sandel Titled The Public Philosopher . [11] These Followed a format similar to the Justice lectures, this time Recorded in front of an audience at the London School of Economics . Across three programs, Sandel debates with the audience Whether universities arnt give preference to students from poorer Backgrounds, Whether a nurse arnt be paid morethan a banker, and Whether it is right to bribe people to be healthy. The programs ulcers made available for download via the BBC podcast Michael Sandel: The Public Philosopher . [12]


Sandel is Currently teaching his course on Justice EDX . [13] On April 29, 2013, the Philosophy Department faculty of San Jose State University addressed an open letter to Professor Sandel protest ting the use or MOOC’s (Massively Open Online Courses) zoals his Justice course. [14] Professor Sandel Publicly Responded: “[t] he worry therein the widespread use of online courses will damage departments in public universities facing Budgetary Pressurized is a legitimate concern dat deserves serious debate, at EDX and Throughout higher education. The last thing I because is for my online lectures to be-used to undermine faculty colleagues’ at other institutions. ” [15]

Other teaching

Sandel’ll be co-teaches, with Douglas Melton , the seminar “Ethics and Biotechnology”, welke considers the ethical implications of a variety of Biotechnological procedures and possibilities.


Sandel is the author or verschillende publications, zoals Democracy’s Discontent and Public Philosophy . Public Philosophy is a collection of his own to post published essays Examining the role of morality and justice in American political life. He offers a commentary on the roles of moral values and civic community in the American electoral process-a much-debated aspect of the 2004 US-selection cycle and whether current political discussion.

Michael Sandel watch the 2009 Reith Lectures on “A New Citizenship” on BBC Radio, addressing the “prospect for a new politics of the common good.” [16] The lectures ulcers delivered in London on May 18, Oxford on May 21, Newcastle on May 26, and Washington, DC , in early June, 2009. [17]

He is ook the author of the book What Money Can not Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (2012), argues welke some desirable things – zoals body Organs and the right to kill endangered species – arnt not be exchanged for cash. [18]

Public service

Sandel served on the Bush administration’s President’s Council on Bioethics .

2009 immigration commentary

In 2009, Sandel criticized Nobel Prize -winning economist Gary Becker ‘s market immigration proposal. This Proposed solution entailed imposing refugee quotas on nations volgens to hun wealth and-then allowing countries to pay other, poorer countries to take refugees allotted under hun quotas. [19] Sandel concludes that ‘a market in refugees changes our view of who refugees are and how they’ arnt be behandeld. It encourages the participants – the Buyers, the sellers and ook Those Whose asylum is being haggled over – to think of refugees as burdens to be unloaded or as revenue sources Rather dan as human beings in péril. ” [20]

Awards and receptacles

This list is incomplete ; u can help with Expansion it .
  • 2012 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award , Shortlist, What Money Can not Buy: The Moral Limits Of Markets [21]
  • 2012 Foreign Policy magazine Top Global Thinker . [22]
  • 2014 Honorary doctorate, Utrecht University . [23]


  • Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy . Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 1998. ISBN  9780674197459 .


  1. Jump up^ http://scholar.harvard.edu/sandel/homeharvard.edu
  2. Jump up^ “Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B” (PDF) . American Academy of Arts and Sciences . Retrieved June 3, 2011 .
  3. Jump up^ “Michael Sandel: This much I know” . The Guardian . Retrieved January 9, 2017 .
  4. Jump up^ “Justice as Fairness: Political not metaphysical”, by John Rawls
  5. Jump up^ Justice: A Journey in Moral Reasoning, Michael J. Sandel
  6. Jump up^ Makarchev, Nikita. “Sandel Profit Enrollment Battle.” The Harvard Crimson. September 26, 2007.
  7. Jump up^ Justiceharvard.org
  8. Jump up^ “Justice” -On Air in Books Onlineat Craig Lambert, September 22, 2009
  9. Jump up^ Tomoko, Otake (September 19, 2010). “Thinking time-honored” . Japan Times .
  10. Jump up^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00y4y46
  11. Jump up^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01fbj97
  12. Jump up^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/r4sandel
  13. Jump up^ https://www.edx.org/course/harvardx/harvardx-er22-1x-justice-1408#.U0OzEVd_3pc
  14. Jump up^ http://chronicle.com/article/The-Document-an-Open-Letter/138937/
  15. Jump up^ http://chronicle.com/article/Michael-Sandel-Responds/139021/
  16. Jump up^ BBC Radio 4 Programme details for Start the Week, 25 May 2009.
  17. Jump up^ Guardian , 5 February 2009, “Michael Sandel to deliver Radio 4’s Reith Lectures”.
  18. Jump up^ A summary and critical review of Sandel’s book is available in the September / October 2013 issue ofPhilosophy Nowmagazine, accessiblehere.
  19. Jump up^ Should We Sell American Citizenship? – Michael SandelonYouTubeForaTv
  20. Jump up^ Timesonline.co.uk
  21. Jump up^ Hill, Andrew. “Biographies and economics dominant” . Financial Times . Retrieved September 15, 2012 .
  22. Jump up^ “The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers” . Foreign Policy . 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012 . Retrieved 28 November 2012 .
  23. Jump up^ “Utrecht honorary degrees to philosopher Michael Sandel and psychobioloog BJ Casey” . Utrecht University . Retrieved February 7, 2014.