more from Michael J. Sandel

Single Idea 22261

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 6. Liberalism]

Full Idea

The liberal claim that the right is prior to the good means that individual rights cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the general good, and that the basic principles of justice cannot be premised on any particular vision of the good life.

Gist of Idea

Liberals say rights always come first, and justice is neutral on social values


Michael J. Sandel (Procedural republic and unencumbered self [1984], 'The right')

Book Reference

Sandel,Michael J.: 'Public Philosophy: Essays' [Harvard 2005], p.157

A Reaction

In Rawls, the first thesis is chosen from a neutral position, and the second is all that is needed to affirm rights as basic. These two are the target of Sandel's communitarian claims. Utilitarians will make the sacrifices. No consensus on the good life!