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Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  8,777 Ratings  ·  788 Reviews

What are our obligations to others as people in a free society? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Is the free market fair? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? Do individual rights and the common good conflict?

Michael J. Sandel’s “Justice” course is one of the mo

Hardcover, 308 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 2009)
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Riku Sayuj

Single Quote Review:

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well a picture-quote...

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Bonus: A quick passage from the book (representative, both):

And here is the letter of acceptance, shorn of honorific implications, that a philosophically frank law school should send those it admits:

Dear successful applicant,

We are pleased to inform you that your application for admission has been accepted. It turns out that you happen to have the traits that society needs at the moment, so we propose to exploit your assets for society’s advan
Feb 13, 2015 Amir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, politics
اصلا این کتاب چه ارتباطی به من داره؟
اگه موقع خوندن این مرور دارید این سوال رو از خودتون میپرسید فقط توصیهام اینه که پنج دقیقهی اول این ویدئو رو نگاه کنید

مایکل سندل استاد فلسفهی سیاسی دانشگاه هاروارد سالهاست که کورسی داره با عنوان «عدالت» که یکی از پرطرفدارترین کورسهای تاریخ این دانشگاه لقب گرفته. طوری که دیگه کلاسهاش توی فضای متعارف کلاسها جا نمیشه و مدتهاست این کلاسها رو تو آمفیتئاتر این دانشگاه با حضور میانگین بالای هزار نفر دانشجو برگزار میکنه. خوب اگه تا ال
Apr 10, 2011 Peter rated it it was amazing
"He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god."

This quote from Aristotle's Politics was new to me. It was one of many highlights in this book.

Sandel's "Justice" is organized in a very interesting way. He starts with utilitarian, then libertarian political philosophy. You might assume he's following a sequence of conservative (less sophisticated) to liberal (more sophisticated). And then, surprise, he throws three c
I love books like this: they challenge the mind and lead to great discussions.

Michael Sandel teaches a very popular course at Harvard entitled “Justice.” It’s available in video through the iTunes University (a phenomenal resource, I might add.) Sandel uses a series of hypothetical situations to focus the class on the different ways philosophers would have analyzed and puzzled out solutions to the problems raised in the hypotheticals. (This somewhat Socratic method is also used very effectively
Jan Rice
On Plato's cave:

...He's right, I think, but only in part. The claims of the cave must be given their due. If moral reflection is dialectical--if it moves back and forth between the judgments we make in concrete situations and the principles that inform those judgments--it needs opinions and convictions, however partial and untutored, as ground and grist. A philosophy untouched by the shadows on the wall can only yield a sterile utopia. (p. 29)

I don't think I ever before heard anyone criticize th
Emad Attili

رحلة رائعة جداً وضرورية لكل طالب علم وقارىء ومثقف.
أسلوب الدكتور ساندل مثير جداً وممتع. يحرّك الذهن وينمّيه.


المواضيع المطروحة في هذا الكورس كلها تتمحور حول القيم والمبادىء الأخلاقية،
وكما هو واضح من العنوان فإنها بشكل عام تتحدث وتناقش الشيء الصحيح الذي يجب علينا فعله في حالات ومعضلات أخلاقية مختلفة.
طبعاً الحلقات هي من العمق بحيث تستهلك بشكل أو بآخر طاقة كبيرة من الذهن!
بالنسبة لي كنت أحس بعدما أنهي كل حلقة بنوع من الصداع الخفيف .. اللذيذ ربما :)



أنصح بمشاهدة جميع الحلقات ..
ولكن تحذير ..
Michael Sandel is something of a “moral rock star” according to the Financial Times, with hordes of acolytes the world over. It is easy for me to see why. This book, published in 2009, discusses theories of fairness and freedom that have been the basis of political discourse and civic structure in the U.S. for some fifty years, bringing us to the state of affairs we currently observe in our market-(un)regulated society. Sandel suggests that we may get twinges now and again that something is amis ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Hadrian rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who want to learn ethics and philsophy
An excellent overview of philosophical/ethical systems. If only I had this book earlier when I started reading philosophy, I'd have saved a lot of time. Go for the iTunes U version if you'd like!

Starts off with a brief overview of ethical systems - utilitarianism, libertarianism, Kant's categorial imperative, Rawlsian justice, and then works through case examples - affirmative action, euthanasia, etc. Very clear and thorough arguments, for and against. If Sandel has a bias for one over the other
Larry Bassett
Mar 12, 2014 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This book and its online course got me started (about four years ago, I see) in internet learning. There are now several MOOC (massive open online course) websites that have tens of thousands of students worldwide taking a wide variety of courses. And all for free!

I have taken some online community college courses in Virginia - free for us senior citizens. I started with the local college then moved into courses from other parts of the state. Then I discovered Coursera and have taken courses in
Quang Khuê
Mar 22, 2012 Quang Khuê rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ta có thể gặp hàng loạt triết gia nổi tiếng với những tư tưởng để đời của họ trong cuốn sách này. Họ chính là Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Aristotle hay Plato. Được viết rất giống như một quyển mà tôi từng đọc của Richard David Precht, Tôi là ai - và nếu vậy thì bao nhiêu ?, nhưng cuốn này sách này chủ yếu tập trung vào các vấn đề triết học chính trị như phúc lợi xã hội, chế độ quân dịch, tiền lương, nhập cư, phân biệt chủng tộc...chứ không đa dạng như quyển kia. ...more
Rizky Akita
If you think "Justice" and "Philosophy" are things you don't really care about or something you consider as 'way too complicated to learn about', then I recommend you to pick this book and add it into your personal bookshelves. I bought this book due to my passion on debating and I thought this book will improve my speech quality. It turned out, Michael J. Sandel fulfills my expectation.Nay, he exceeded my expectation.

Here's my review :

1. Sandel gives a comprehensive overview toward all basic ph
Oct 31, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggistica, diritto
Michael Sandel è professore di filosofia politica all’università di Harvard, le cui lezioni sulla giustizia sono affollatissime, tanto che sono state raccolte in questo saggio, che esamina le teorie morali sulla giustizia più significative, a partire dall’utilitarismo al libertarismo, passando per Kant, Rawls ed Aristotele.
Non è un saggio di pura filosofia, perché l’autore cala nella realtà, con esempi concreti, le diverse teorie filosofiche che esamina; mi aspettavo, confesso, una trattazione p
Greta tra le righe
Quando sono forzata a leggere qualcosa lo studio, difficilmente mi godo la lettura come farei se fossi spinta solamente dalla curiosità, a prescindere dalla lettura in questione. In questo caso, devo ammettere di non avere avuto troppe difficoltà: "Giustizia" è una lettura agevole e fruibile, dà qualche interessante spunto di riflessione e presenta una panoramica riassuntiva su alcune teorie filosofiche non troppo impegnativa ma sufficiente a orientarsi agevolmente in una riflessione etica sui ...more
ณัฐกานต์ อมาตยกุล
ดีงามจัง เหมือนได้เรียนปรัชญาอีกครั้ง​ (เนื้อหาประเด็นทางปรัชญาที่ยกมาพูดถึงใกล้เคียงกับตอนเรียน general philosophy มาก) แต่ว่าขยายไปสู่การใช้ชีวิตจริงๆ การตัดสินใจให้คุณค่าของเราต่อสิ่งต่างๆ เหมือนกับว่าเรื่องพวกนี้พูดกันในทางทฤษฎีมันก็พูดกันได้เรื่อยๆ แหละ ต่างคนต่างพูดเสนอไอเดียกันไป แต่พอต้องดึงมาใช้ในเรื่องทางการเมือง การตัดสินคดี การจัดการสวัสดิการ สุดท้ายเราก็หลีกเลี่ยงความขัดแย้งพวกนี้ไม่ได้ สำคัญก็คือเวลาที่เราพูดว่าอย่าเอาเรื่องศาสนามาปะปนกับการถกเรื่องนี้ มันตัดได้จริงๆ หรือ ...more
Feb 06, 2015 Book rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Justice: What’s The Right Thing to Do? By Michael J. Sandel

“Justice: What’s The Right Thing to Do?” is a fascinating book about practical justice. Harvard law professor Michael Sandel takes his very popular class to the public and hits upon the most fascinating and controversial topics in an even-handed approach. This excellent 320-page book is broken out in the following ten chapters: 1. Doing the Right Thing, 2. The Greatest Happiness Principle/Utilitarianism, 3. Do We Own Ourselves?/Libertari
Jun 12, 2012 Jon rated it really liked it
First I should say right at the beginning that the title is a bit misleading: I don't think there is a single issue in which Sandel tells us explicitly the right thing to do. But he does give what seems to me a very clear description of various ways of thinking about justice. He examines utilitarianism (greatest good for the greatest number), then the absolute privileging of "freedom of choice"--both from the libertarian (largely economic) and from the liberal egalitarian views of Immanuel Kant ...more
Huyen Pham
Không có ranh giới rõ ràng giữa phải - trái, đúng - sai. Quan điểm nào cũng có lý lẽ riêng của nó. Đấy là điều mà mình rút ra được từ cuốn sách này. Còn phần phân tích về tự do, công lý, lợi ích, đạo đức... thì xin miễn thứ cho kẻ bất tài, mình có cảm giác tác giả đã rất cố gắng để diễn đạt cho dễ hiểu nhất nhưng đọc nhiều đoạn mà cứ mơ mơ màng màng. Chỗ nào hiểu được thì đọc rất bon còn hầu hết thì cứ bò qua từng chữ, mất tập trung cái là đọc lại cả đoạn. Đọc quyển này cảm giác giống Tâm lý học ...more
Cassandra Lê
Jan 15, 2016 Cassandra Lê rated it it was amazing
Totally recommended this for wanna-be philosophers. This is written in plain, simple language, that are also very practical and realistic. The author manages to introduce each philosophy back up with each example, then refute each philosophy. I have not finished yet but I am in love with it so far. I read this alongside with my online Harvard University's course. Great book!
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
I live in a country where the head of state seems to think that his duties to the people he governs are restricted to ensuring that they have the chance to become as prosperous as possible, this being the highest good he can provide them (nevermind the fact that his modus operandi for doing so is deeply flawed- he seeks to enable the very wealthy to become even more wealthy claiming that this 'increases the size of the cake' and hence the size of everyone's slice - a piece of sophism that has ...more
Nguyên ngộ ngộ
Một cuốn sách không hề dễ đọc vì bàn về những vấn đề gây tranh cãi nhất hiện nay. Điều thú vị nhất tôi rút ra được từ cuốn này là CÁCH NGHĨ, CÁCH TRANH LUẬN về một vấn đề. Làm sao không ba phải, không trung lập, quan điểm mình dựa trên cơ sở nào, nguyên tắc, học thuyết nào để lập luận cho sắc bén!

Những tranh "cãi" xoay quanh những tình huống rất đời thường, và mình sẽ review lại những câu chuyện được đưa ra bàn luận trong sách. Hy vọng rằng khi dựa lại những câu chuyện này, ta gợi lại được nhữn
The Book Nazi
Aug 12, 2010 The Book Nazi rated it it was amazing
Amidst all this recession and economic downturns experienced in G8 countries..Michael J. Sandel makes sense. He believes that markets if left to themselves or encouraged to spread too far, can injure basic moral values and short change the common good.

From the things I've heard on the Intenet, This Harvard Lecturers introductory course on justice is a hot ticket on the campus. Now readers get to read his arguments in a book form and I have no doubt that this book would appeal to anyone who like
Smartly written and easy to read, this book is Sandel's writeup of his legendary Harvard course on Ethics and Justice. I first watched the course online (iTunes) and wanted to read the book.

Both are excellent -- entertaining and enlightening. I can't recommend them more highly.

The book uses real life cases, major ethical "rocks" (abortion, selling human organs, ..) and hypotheticals (e.g. trolley car problems) to elucidate and clarify the totally of Western theoretical philosophy of political e
Jun 12, 2011 Cherry rated it it was amazing
People may say that this book is beyond my years of learning, since I'm only 17 years old. I do have to admit, I took down this book for several days and then back to reading it again.

So why did I continue reading?
I'm in love with the facts, that's it. And this book doesn't just explain about justice, it explains what people should do. Justice has many different forms in other cultures. And Michael, I think, defines it as a moral conscience that people has and what it'll do for others. My curios
Nguyễn Quang Vũ
Quả thực thì mình không biết review cuốn này như thế nào nữa. Vì đọc thấy phê phê nhưng nhiều chỗ chẳng hiểu gì cả. Quyển sách đưa ra những vấn đề quá đỗi mới mẻ với mình. Quả thực có quá nhiều điều mà mình chưa bao giờ từng nghĩ tới. Có lẽ vẫn phải cám ơn thằng bạn đã giới thiệu nó cho mình. Cơ mà chắc vẫn phải để một thời gian nữa thì ... đọc lại :(

"Phải trái đúng sai" hay "Công lý: Đâu là việc đúng nên làm?" là cuốn sách và bài giảng của Michael J. Sandel, một diễn giả và là triết gia chính t
Feb 28, 2016 Hailey rated it liked it
I like this book because it asks good questions to think about. Even though it seems to be an ordinary ethics textbook from time to time, it makes itself extraordinary with a wide range of real examples.
Feb 11, 2010 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy

I greatly enjoyed the first two-thirds of Michael Sandel’s new book, Justice: A Reader, which only made the final third more disappointing. Sandel begins his book with a long and fruitful discussion of philosophical thought, ranging from Rousseau to Nozick to Rawls, with compelling thought experiments and concise explanations of the different schools of thought. In the end, Sandel argues that each school falls short, in part due to neglecting the moral leg
Fatma Mahmoud
Sep 30, 2016 Fatma Mahmoud rated it it was amazing
I read it while taking HarvardX ER221x Justice on The book along with the course created an unbelievably effective learning experience. Plus, of course, the entertainment I felt during going through both of them. Sometimes I found myself reading the book in professor Sandel's voice :"D.
Jon Stout
Feb 09, 2015 Jon Stout rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: liberals and libertarians
Recommended to Jon by: Dennis Percher
Shelves: philosophy
On one level Sandel’s book may be seen as a survey of the classical conceptions of justice (or how best to structure a society), including the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mills, the liberal egalitarianism of Emmanuel Kant and John Rawls, and the virtue ethics of Aristotle. On that level, Sandel writes a wonderful work in which he plays the various conceptions against each other using controversial test cases in the current news. The book was originally conceived as a Harvard ...more
Manas Gupta
Mar 08, 2016 Manas Gupta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: politics, philosophy
Would it be right if you had to kill one person to save five? Is it right to exploit a person or minorities just because it gives pleasure to the majority? Is torture ever justified?

How free the markets should be? How free are our choices in the market? Should we draft soldiers or hire them? From where does morality derive its significance? Is your success your own doing? How fair do you think income inequality is? How do you see redistribution of wealth and income?

How fair do you think affirm
Oct 24, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who cares about how the idea/word of "justice" is applied.
Shelves: social-justice
I'll make this short and simple: if you care anything about how justice is administered in your country, whatever country that may be, and how the notions of justice are mixed with other areas of life such as politics, markets, civic virtue, citizenship, and so on, then you need to read this book.

It's not a book that has any kind of earthshaking, groundbreaking reveals, nor does it go on to utterly refute one philosophy over another in a dazzling display of deft thought and astute, incisive rea
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Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1980, and the author of many books. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Michael J. Sandel ( March 5, 1953) is an American political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. He is best known for the Harvard course 'Justice', which is available to view online, and f
More about Michael J. Sandel...

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“Markets are useful instruments for organizing productive activity. But unless we want to let the market rewrite the norms that govern social institutions, we need a public debate about the moral limits of markets.” 27 likes
“Other animals can make sounds, and sounds can indicate pleasure and pain. But language, a distinctly human capacity, isn´t just for registering pleasure and pain. It´s about declaring what is just and what is unjust, and distinguishing right from wrong. We don´t grasp these things silently, and then put words to them; language is the medium through which we discern and deliberate about the good.” 12 likes
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