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Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Audiobook)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  6,870 ratings  ·  650 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?

These questions are at the core of our public life tod
Published September 15th 2009 by Macmillan Audio (first published January 1st 2009)
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Riku Sayuj

Single Quote Review:

Click to Expand.

well a picture-quote...

Click to Expand.

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
"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
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
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
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
Michael Sandel is a political professor at Harvard and the author of JUSTICE: WHAT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO? After more than two decades of teaching one of the most popular courses in the college's history with more than 15,000 students attending, Sandel wrote the book based on his notes. The conversation begins...

There is an exhilaration with studying philosophy, but it has its dangers. The familiar in life becomes strange, as we reflect on our circumstances. It has a personal risk, because it i
Larry Bassett
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

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 ..
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
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
Quang Khuê
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
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
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 Hadrian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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 di ...more
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
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
Jon Stout
Feb 09, 2015 Jon Stout rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 24, 2012 Paul rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
An accessible introduction to several major schools of philosophy and philosophers including utilitarianism, libertarianism, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, and Aristotle, among others. But just because it's accessible, doesn't mean it's necessarily easy reading. There are deep concepts here that take a while to digest; don't pick this one up looking for a quick read.

Michael Sandel methodically and thoroughly discusses each approach to the concept of justice, defining it, elucidating with examples, p
"Justice" is the distillation of the introductory ethics course that Michael Sandel has been teaching for years. You can check out to see video lectures covering many of the same topics covered in "Justice". While the book gives Sandel a bit more space to go into some details not offered in these videos, the two formats are nearly identical.

When it comes to ethics and modern example of ethical theories in action, I'm not sure I've read anyone with a clearer presentation than
José Luis
This is a book about moral philosophy, or ethics if you prefer. The author, Michael Sandel, a Harvard Law School professor, wrote it from his classes on Justice, taught at Harvard and attended by a lot of students, more than 4000 by the time I read about it. The book is a companion to the course, and some classes can be seen at The interesting thing about the book is that, being about philosophy, it does not give us answers. It poses us many social and moral questi ...more
Sue Lyle
I train teachers in Philosophy for Children and work with children to engage them in philosophising. I found this book marvellous for its clear exposition of three major philosophical positions on justice. His use of real life moral dilemmas and how they could be considered using the philosophical perspectives of utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics was clear, accessible and informed by his extensive knowledge of the philosophy as you would expect from a Harvard professor. I love Sandel' ...more
Terrance Kutney
One of my all-time favourite non-fiction books. Its all about what a political conception of justice is-- basically, Sandel tries to answer the question of what a just society looks like. Sandel runs through the different ways of defining justice, including utilitarianism, libertarianism, and Rawlsism, and he uses some very interesting moral and ethical dilemmas to illustrate how each type of philosophy attempts to define justice.

I feel like I really learned a lot about political philosophy; I
Lane Ward
I recommend everyone I know reads this book.

An excellent, accessible introduction to philosophical thinking in everyday life that can be read in no time.

This book explores different philosophical approaches such as those of utilitarians, libertarians, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Aristotle, and more to justice by exploring different takes on real-world problems such as the 2008 financial crisis, affirmative action, abortion, the roles of markets, and other personal ethical questions that we face i
Elaad Yair
Justice by Michael Sandel is a good book, articulately written and trying to promote goodness in a way very few books dare, which is a positive thing.

The author provides an easy-to-chew summary of some notable philosophers who dealt with justice (naturally, the list is not exhaustive, as this book doesn't aim to be a summary of all known people who have ever said something about justice, but rather telling the author's opinion supported by the writing of a few bigwigs). He tries to put them in a
Rascal Drrmrmrr
This reminded me why I didn't major in philosophy in college. I find a lot of the rhetoric problematic, I think, in an attempt to understand justice, that a lot of his comparisons are stretched a little far. But that's my issue with a lot of philosophy writing. Lets string together any two unrelated things in an attempt to understand better this other thing. I dunno, I liked the bits he chose from previous philosophers but I didn't care for his own insights. But I do want to look more into Rawls ...more
Mark Bao
I read this book in spurts so I'll have to go over this book again before I write a full review. Nonetheless, one of the most important books I've read. Throughout the book, Sandel examines different systems of justice and talks about scenarios and the difficulties of each thing. Starting with utilitarianism, he then goes through libertarianism, Kant's categorical imperative, Rawls' theory of justice, and virtue ethics to talk about what the right thing to do is – how to maximize justice.

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  • Justice as Fairness: A Restatement
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  • Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach
  • Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away
  • J. S. Mill: 'On Liberty' and Other Writings
  • The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief
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.” 25 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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