Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

by Michael Sandel

Sandel, Harvard professor, took his popular class on the philosophy of law and condensed it into 200 thought-provoking and entertaining pages. Sandel's goal is to give a brief but thorough introduction to several different legal philosophies, including Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, the works of Aristotle, John Locke and Immanuel Kant, and modern philosophers like John Rawls. In each case, Sandel uses thought experiments as well as historic legal cases to examine these philosophies from different angles. The effort to create a just society has never been easy, and I found my eyes opening to some of the benefits and pitfalls of each approach. I felt that Sandel did "justice" to each system he talks about, while still clearly having his own point of view. Highly recommended.

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