Ideas of Michael J. Sandel, by Theme

[American, b.1953, Taught at Oxford University, and then Harvard University.]

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3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 3. Value of Truth
Speak truth only to those who deserve the truth
Careful evasions of truth at least show respect for it
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 1. Contractarianism
Not all deals are fair deals
Does consent create the obligation, or must there be some benefit?
Moral contracts involve both consent and reciprocity; making the deal, and keeping it
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 2. Golden Rule
The categorical imperative is not the Golden Rule, which concerns contingent desires
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 5. Persons as Ends
Man cannot dispose of himself, because he is not a thing to be owned
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 3. Original Position / a. Original position
Choosers in the 'original position' have been stripped of most human characteristics [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. Social contract
Just visiting (and using roads) is hardly ratifying the Constitution
25. Society / B. The State / 3. Constitutions
A just constitution harmonises the different freedoms
A ratified constitution may not be a just constitution
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 1. Social Justice
We can approach justice through welfare, or freedom, or virtue
Should we redress wrongs done by a previous generation?
Justice concerns how a society distributes what it prizes - wealth, rights, power and honours
Work is not fair if it is negotiated, even in a fair situation, but if it suits the nature of the worker
Distributive justice concern deserts, as well as who gets what
Justice is about how we value things, and not just about distributions
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
Libertarians just want formal equality in a free market; the meritocratic view wants fair equality
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 6. Liberalism
The self is 'unencumbered' if it can abandon its roles and commitments without losing identity [Shorten]
Liberal freedom was a response to assigned destinies like caste and class
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / b. Limited purposes
Teleological thinking is essential for social and political issues