David's Reviews > Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

Justice by Michael J. Sandel
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M 50x66
's review
Nov 11, 2011

it was amazing

Detailed discussion of lofty ideas about justice (utilitarianism, Kant's categorical imperative, Rawls' concept of reasoning from the "original position" behind a "veil of ignorance" about what position you personally will hold in the society you are building, MacIntyre's communitarian views expressed in the book After Virtue, and so on) applied to contemporary topics (affirmative action, stem cell research, etc. etc. etc.).

Lively writing, incisive analyses, even-handed consideration of alternate views.

The blurb from George Will says "...reading this lucid book is like taking his famous undergraduate course "Justice" without the tiresome parts, such as term papers and exams"

I took that course in 1981 +/- a year, and I can attest that the book is indeed like the course, to the point that I sometimes knew exactly what was coming -- David Hume leads to anecdote about Sam, "the man with the van" fixing the author's car on a cross-country drive he took during grad school, and so on........But this didn't lessen my enjoyment, serving more as a reminder of one of the most intellectually exciting experiences of my life. Sandel is a wonderful teacher, and if you like following along as a great mind tackles important ideas with implications for our daily lives, you will appreciate this book very much.

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