Professor

Michael J. Sandel

Harvard University
Area
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Specialty
Political Science
Member Since
2003

Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His writings—on justice, ethics, democracy, and markets--have been translated into 27 languages. His course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. His books relate enduring themes of political philosophy to the most vexing moral and civic questions of our time.  They include What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets;  Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?;  The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering;  Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics;  Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy; and Liberalism and the Limits of Justice

Sandel has sought to extend the reach of philosophy beyond the academy. His BBC Radio 4 series “The Public Philosopher” explores the philosophical ideas lying behind the headlines with audiences around the world; one program, a discussion of violence against women, was recorded in India, following a notorious rape incident in New Delhi. Another took place in Britain’s Palace of Westminster, where Sandel led a debate about democracy with members of Parliament and the public.  In Brazil, he recently led a debate on corruption and the ethics of everyday life that reached an audience of 19 million on Globo TV.  In Japan, his series on ethics for NHK, Japan’s national television network, convened students from China, Japan, and South Korea to discuss whether moral responsibility for historic wrongs extends across generations.

A graduate of Brandeis University, he received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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