Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do Series
Lectures curated around Harvard professor Michael Sandel's Justice course, an introduction to moral and political philosophy.
This twelve-part series invites viewers to think critically about the fundamental questions of justice, equality, democracy and citizenship. Each week, more than 1,000 students attend the lectures of Harvard University professor and author Michael Sandel, eager to expand their understanding of political and moral philosophy, as well as test long-held beliefs. Students learn about the great philosophers of the past — Aristotle, Kant, Mill, Locke — then apply the lessons to complex and sometimes volatile modern-day issues, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, patriotism, loyalty and human rights.
Sandel's teaching approach involves presenting students with an ethical dilemma — some hypothetical, others actual cases — then asking them to decide "what’s the right thing to do?" He encourages students to stand up and defend their decisions, which leads to a lively and often humorous classroom debate. Sandel then twists the ethical question around, to further test the assumptions behind their different moral choices. The process reveals the often contradictory nature of moral reasoning.
Lecture release schedule:
The Moral Side of Murder / The Case for Cannibalism [available below]
Putting a Price Tag on Life / How to Measure Pleasure [available below]
Free to Choose / Who Owns Me? [available below]
This Land is my Land / Consenting Adults [available below]
Hired Guns? / For Sale: Motherhood [available below]
Mind Your Motive / The Supreme Principle of Morality [available below]
A Lesson in Lying / A Deal is a Deal [available below]
What’s a Fair Start? / What Do We Deserve? 11.01
Arguing Affirmative Action / What's the Purpose? 11.08
The Good Citizen / Freedom vs. Fit 11.15
The Claims of Community / Where Our Loyalty Lies 11.22
Debating Same-sex Marriage / The Good Life 11.29
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