Justice - What Is the Right Thing To Do?

Episode 1. I don't know if you've ever taken an Ethics class --and I admit I may be biased both because I had great professors and because now I teach the stuff-- but an ethics course is one of the greatest and most deeply formative experiences of one's intellectual life.

All philosophy can shake you to your core, and subjects like metaphysics, epistemology or philosophy of mind do so primarily through their novelty and weirdness, since they are not the kind of stuff that lay people tend to think much about in their quotidian musings. Have you ever asked yourself what the meaning of meaning is, or whether you can think beyond the limits of thought? See?

Ethics, on the other hand, can shake you to your core precisely because it takes what you think you already know, pushes it to its logical limits, and then presents you with a world so strange and alien you barely recognize it as your own creation.

The following video, which gives you a great sense of what I've just argued, presents two short introductory lectures on justice and ethics delivered by Professor Michael Sandel, from one of the most popular courses taught in Harvard University. That's right, you can now get a Harvard education for free on this blog :)


Learn more about what the fascinating trolley thought experiment tells us about how the mind works (in this RadioLab episode).

Professor Sandel recently delivered the BBC Reith Lectures, focusing on the concept of citizenship and a politics of the common good. Follow the link to listen to them.

Episode list: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
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