Prague Spring, NYC Chapter Message Board › New Meetup: Book Club: Justice

New Meetup: Book Club: Justice

Dyutiman D.
user 2964657
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Announcing a new Meetup for Prague Spring, NYC Chapter!

What: Book Club: Justice

When: December 2, 2009 7:30 PM

60 Wall Street Atrium
60 Wall St
New York, NY 10005

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?
Michael Sandel

A book on political philosophy that questions the foundations of the ongoing legal debates from torture to profiteering.

Michael Sandel is a professor at Harvard, and teaches a course with the same title. Harvard is now following MIT in uploading academic courses online and available to the public via youtube. The New York Times has a piece describing the class and its online production.

From the Guardian: "Life is, you might say, one damned dilemma after another. We are constantly trying to work out what to do for the best: to marry or not to marry, to persevere in a boring career or try something new, to save fools from their folly or let them learn from mistakes. Sandel's routine is to present us with a problem, help us identify the principles we appeal to in assessing our options and then show us how hard it can be to get them to line up and point in the same direction."

Barnes and Noble have some additional thoughts: "The three most common ways of philosophizing about justice emphasize, respectively, happiness, freedom, and morality. Utilitarians think politics should maximize the population's overall welfare, however that is measured. Libertarians counter that the best way to do that is for politics to leave markets alone; that justice is whatever state of affairs results from the sum of all voluntary transactions among free individuals. Communitarians believe that "free individuals" is an incomplete description of human beings; rather, every person, group, institution, and activity has a distinctive purpose (what the Greeks called a telos), which politics exists to help them fulfill. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill were the founding fathers of utilitarianism. Milton Friedman and Robert Nozick are the best-known exponents of libertarianism. Aristotle was the first important communitarian theorist of justice, while Sandel himself is the most recent."

The book comes highly recommended by all and should be extremely interesting and fun.

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