Sign In
Aaron Levie Alain de Botton Alan Watts Alexis Ohanian Andreas Antonopoulos Andrew DeSantis Andrew Lo Arthur De Vany Aubrey de Grey Balaji Srinivasan Ben Bratton Bill Bryson Bryan Caplan Carl Jung Chamath Palihapitiya Chris Arnade Chris Sacca Daniel Dennett Daniel Kahneman David Linden David Sacks Derek Parfit Derek Sivers Douglas Hofstadter E.O. Wilson Elon Musk Eric Weinstein Ezra Klein Gad Saad George Gilder George Lakoff Ido Portal J.D. Vance James Altucher James Gleick Jason Silva Jeff Bezos Jim Simons Jocko Willink John Hagelin John Nash Josh Waitzkin Julia Galef Kelly Starrett Kevin Kelly Kevin Rose Kim Scott Kumar Thangudu Leonard Shlain Malcolm Gladwell Marc Andreessen Maria Konnikova Maria Popova Matt Ridley Michael Hiltzik Michael Sandel Naval Ravikant Neil Strauss Neil Turok Nick Bostrom Nick Szabo Noah Kagan Noam Chomsky Oliver Sacks P.D. Mangan Paul Bloom Paul Graham Peter Attia Peter Diamandis Peter Thiel Reid Hoffman Rhonda Patrick Richard Feynman Richard Rorty Robert Caro Robert Cialdini Robert Greene Robert Kurzban Robert Langer Robert McNamara Robert Putnam Robert Sapolsky Rory Sutherland Ryan Holiday Sam Altman Sam Harris Scott Adams Scott Belsky Scott Galloway Seth Godin Shawn Baker Shinzen Young Siddhartha Mukherjee Simon Sinek Slavoj Zizek Stephen Wolfram Steve Jobs Steven Pinker Stewart Butterfield Ted Nelson Tiago Forte Tim Ferriss Tim Urban Timothy Gowers Timothy Pychyl Tyler Cowen Vaclav Smil Valter Longo Venkatesh Rao Vinay Gupta Vincent Dignan Will MacAskill Wim Hof Yanis Varoufakis Yuval Harari
Michael Sandel
Michael J. Sandel (/sænˈdɛl/; born March 5, 1953) is an American political philosopher and a political philosophy professor at Harvard University. His course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China, where Sandel was named the “most influential foreign figure of the year.” (China Newsweek). He is also known for his critique of John Rawls' A Theory of Justice in his first book, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (1982). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002.
ARGUING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
PART ONE: ARGUING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Sandel describes the 1996 court case of a white woman named Cheryl Hopwood who was denied admission to a Texas law school, even though she had higher grades and test scores than some of the minority applicants who were admitted. Hopwood took her case to court, arguing the schools affirmative action program violated her rights. Students discuss the pros and cons of affirmative action. Should we try to correct for inequality in educational backgrounds by taking race into consideration? Should we compensate for historical injustices such as slavery and segregation? Is the argument in favor of promoting diversity a valid one? How does it size up against the argument that a students efforts and achievements should carry more weight than factors that are out of his or her control and therefore arbitrary? When a universitys stated mission is to increase diversity, is it a violation of rights to deny a white person admission?
PART TWO: WHATS THE PURPOSE?
Sandel introduces Aristotle and his theory of justice. Aristotle disagrees with Rawls and Kant. He believes that justice is about giving people their due, what they deserve. When considering matters of distribution, Aristotle argues one must consider the goal, the end, the purpose of what is being distributed. The best flutes, for example, should go to the best flute players. And the highest political offices should go to those with the best judgment and the greatest civic virtue. For Aristotle, justice is a matter of fitting a persons virtues with an appropriate role.