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A Reader

Edited by Michael J. Sandel

Publication Date - 27 September 2007

ISBN: 9780195335125

432 pages
7 x 10 inches

In Stock

The essential readings on justice and moral reasoning in one indispensable volume


Justice brings together in one indispensable volume essential readings on justice and moral reasoning. With readings from major thinkers from the classical era up to the present, the collection provides a thematic overview of the concept of justice. Moreover, Sandel's organization of the readings and his own commentaries allow readers to engage with a variety of pressing contemporary issues. Looking at a host of ethical dilemmas, including affirmative action, conscription, income distribution, and gay rights, from a variety of angles--morally, legally, politically--the collection engages with the core concerns of political philosophy: individual rights and the claims of community, equality and inequality, morality and law, and ultimately, justice. With concise section introductions that put the readings in context, this anthology is an invaluable tool for students, teachers, and anyone who wishes to engage in the great moral debates that have animated politics from classical times to our own.


  • Offers the essential readings on justice and moral reasoning in one indispensable volume
  • Includes readings from major thinkers from the classical era up to the present
  • Puts the readings into context through concise section introductions

About the Author(s)

Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. He is the author of numerous books, including Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, Democracy's Discontent, Public Philosophy and most recently, The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering.


"Michael Sandel is one of the most popular and influential college professors in America. For more than twenty years, hundreds of students at a time have packed into a Harvard University lecture hall to hear his discourses on justice; and hundreds have streamed out feeling a surprisingly personal connection with their gifted teacher. This book reveals Sandel's secret recipe for enthralling students with timeless questions of law, justice, and morality in a decidedly contemporary context."--Anita L. Allen, Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

"This thoughtful, stimulating, and convenient collection brings a range of classic moral and political philosophers--from Aristotle to John Stuart Mill--to bear on a range of contemporary controversies about justice. It invites readers to discover how their views on contemporary questions might be clarified, deepened and challenged by an encounter with enduring debates in moral and political philosophy."--Russell Muirhead, Associate Professor of Democracy and Politics, Dartmouth College

"This outstanding collection successfully blends historical and contemporary thought, on issues of theoretical and practical importance, to illuminate the main problems of justice. It is accessible to undergraduates in philosophy, with breadth and depth enough to engage the experienced philosophical reader hoping to rethink some central debates."--Michele Moody-Adams, Director and Professor of Ethics and Public Life, Cornell University

Table of Contents

    I. Introduction: Doing the Right Thing
    The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens (1884)(The lifeboat case)
    II. Utilitarianism
    Principles of Morals and Legistlation, Jeremy Bentham
    Utilitiarianism, John Stuart Mill
    III. Libertarianism
    Free to Choose, Milton and Rose Friedman
    Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick
    The Constitution of Liberty, Friedrich A. Hayek
    IV. Locke: Property Rights
    Second Treatise of Government, John Locke
    V. Markets and Morals: Surrogate Motherhood, Military Service
    Tragic Choices, Guido Calabresi and Philop Bobbit
    Battle Cry of Freedom, James M. McPherson
    "All Go Down Together", James Traub
    In the Matter of Baby 'M' (1987)
    In the Matter of Baby 'M' (1988, N.J.Supreme Court)
    "Is Women's Labor a Commodity?", Elizabeth S. Anderson
    VI. Kant: Freedom as Autonomy
    Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant
    "On the Supposed Right to Lie", Immanuel Kant
    VII. Rawls: Justice as Fairness
    A Theory of Justice, John Rawls
    VIII. Distributive Justice: Equality, Entitlement, and Merit
    A Theory of Justice, John Rawls
    Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick
    IX. Affirmative Action: Reverse Discrimination?
    "Racial Discrimination or Righting Past Wrongs?", Richard Bernstein
    Hopwood v. State of Texas (1996)
    Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
    "Bakke's Case: Are Quotas Unfair?", Ronald Dworkin
    "Double Reverse Discrimination", Jefferson Morley
    "Proxy War: Liberals Denounce Racial Profiling. Conservatives Denounce Affirmative Action. What's the Difference?", Michael Brus
    X. Aristotle: Justice and Virtue
    The Politics, Aristotle
    Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle
    XI. Ability, Disability, and Discrimination: Cheerleaders and golf carts
    "A Safety Blitz; Texas Cheerleader Loses Status", Sue Anne Pressley
    "Honor and Resentment", Michael J. Sandel
    "Sorry, Free Rides Not Right", Bob Ryan
    "Keep the PGA on Foot", Tom Kite
    PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin (2000)
    XII. Justice, Community, and Membership
    After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre
    Democracy's Discontent, Michael J. Sandel
    Spheres of Justice, Michael Walzer
    XIII. Moral Argument and Liberal Toleration
    Moral Liberalism, John Rawls
    "Political Liberalism", Michael J. Sandel
    XV. Morality and Law: Same-Sex Marriage, For and Against
    Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health (2003)
    "Abolish Marriage", Michael Kinsey
    "Law, Morality, and 'Sexual Orientation'", John M. Finnis
    "Homosexuality and the Conservative Mind", Stephen Macedo
    "Universalism, Liberal Theory, and the Problem of Gay Marriage", Robin West

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