Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics

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Harvard University Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 292 pages
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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.
 

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User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

I was first introduced to Michael Sandel a couple of years ago on YouTube while I was looking for a productive way to spend my newly free summer days. His course at Harvard called “Justice” is one of ... Read full review

Public philosophy: essays on morality in politics

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Sandel (government, Harvard; Democracy's Discontent ) sets out to explain the importance of civic life to democracy and the role that moral convictions play in our civic identity. He begins by tracing ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
AMERICAN CIVIC LIFE
3
Americas Search for a Public Philosophy
9
Democrats and Community
35
The Politics of Easy Virtue
46
Big Ideas
50
The Problem with Civility
54
ImpeachmentThen and Now
59
Should Victims Have a Say in Sentencing?
105
Clinton and Kant on Lying
109
Is There a Right to Assisted Suicide?
113
The Moral Logic of Stem Cell Research
117
Abortion and Homosexuality
122
LIBERALISM PLURALISM AND COMMUNITY
145
Morality and the Liberal Ideal
147
The Procedural Republic and the Unencumbered Self
156

Robert F Kennedys Promise
63
MORAL AND POLITICAL ARGUMENTS
67
Against State Lotteries
69
Commercials in the Classroom
73
Branding the Public Realm
77
Sports and Civic Identity
81
History for Sale
85
The Market for Merit
89
Should We Buy the Right to Pollute?
93
Honor and Resentment
97
Arguing Affirmative Action
101
Justice as Membership
174
The Peril of Extinction
179
Deweys Liberalism and Ours
183
Whats Wrong with Playing God?
196
Political Liberalism
211
Remembering Rawls
248
The Limits of Communitarianism
252
Notes
263
Credits
279
Index
281
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Michael J. Sandel is Professor of Government, Harvard University, and the author of Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.

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