ISBN-10:
067402365X
ISBN-13:
9780674023659
Pub. Date:
10/31/2006
Publisher:
Harvard
Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics / Edition 1

Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics / Edition 1

by Michael J. Sandel
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Overview

In this book, Michael Sandel takes up some of the hotly contested moral and political issues of our time, including affirmative action, assisted suicide, abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, the meaning of toleration and civility, the gap between rich and poor, the role of markets, and the place of religion in public life. He argues that the most prominent ideals in our political life—individual rights and freedom of choice—do not by themselves provide an adequate ethic for a democratic society. Sandel calls for a politics that gives greater emphasis to citizenship, community, and civic virtue, and that grapples more directly with questions of the good life. Liberals often worry that inviting moral and religious argument into the public sphere runs the risk of intolerance and coercion. These essays respond to that concern by showing that substantive moral discourse is not at odds with progressive public purposes, and that a pluralist society need not shrink from engaging the moral and religious convictions that its citizens bring to public life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674023659
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 608,479
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Michael J. Sandel is Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I. American Civic Life

1. America's Search for a Public Philosophy

2. Beyond Individualism: Democrats and Community

3. The Politics of Easy Virtue

4. Big Ideas

5. The Problem with Civility

6. Impeachment—Then and Now

7. Robert F. Kennedy's Promise

Part II. Moral and Political Arguments

8. Against State Lotteries

9. Commercials in the Classroom

10. Branding the Public Realm

11. Sports and Civic Identity

12. History for Sale

13. The Market for Merit

14. Should We Buy the Right to Pollute?

15. Honor and Resentment

16. Arguing Affirmative Action

17. Should Victims Have a Say in Sentencing?

18. Clinton and Kant on Lying

19. Is There a Right to Assisted Suicide?

20. Embryo Ethics: The Moral Logic of Stem Cell Research

21. Moral Argument and Liberal Toleration: Abortion and Homosexuality

Part III. Liberalism, Pluralism, and Community

22. Morality and the Liberal Ideal

23. The Procedural Republic and the Unencumbered Self

24. Justice as Membership

25. The Peril of Extinction

26. Dewey's Liberalism and Ours

27. Mastery and Hubris in Judaism: What's Wrong with Playing God?

28. Political Liberalism

29. Remembering Rawls

30. The Limits of Communitarianism

Notes

Credits

Index

What People are Saying About This

Michael Sandel is one of the world's best known and most influential political theorists. He is unusual for the range of practical ethical issues that he has addressed: life, death, sports, religion, commerce, and more. These essays are lucid, pointed, often highly subtle and revealing. Sandel has something important and worthwhile to say about every topic he addresses.

E.J. Dionne Jr.

No matter what your politics are, you will find Michael Sandel's Public Philosophy exciting, invigorating, discerning and encouraging. Conservatives will discover a liberalism they didn't know existed: profoundly concerned with responsibility, community and the importance of individual virtue. Liberals and Democrats who know their side needs an engaging public philosophy will find its bricks and mortar, its contours and basic principles, right here in these pages. To a political debate that is too often dispiriting and sterile, Sandel has offered a brilliant and badly needed antidote.

E.J. Dionne Jr., syndicated columnist, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, professor at Georgetown University, author of Why Americans Hate Politics and Stand Up Fight Back

Stephen Macedo

Michael Sandel is one of the world's best known and most influential political theorists. He is unusual for the range of practical ethical issues that he has addressed: life, death, sports, religion, commerce, and more. These essays are lucid, pointed, often highly subtle and revealing. Sandel has something important and worthwhile to say about every topic he addresses.

Stephen Macedo, Princeton University

Jean Bethke Elshtain

Michael Sandel can always be counted on to write with elegance and intelligence about important things. Whether you agree or not, you cannot ignore his arguments. We need all the sane voices we can get in the public square and Sandel's is one of the sanest.
Jean Bethke Elshtain, The University of Chicago Divinity School

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