Part 1 -Debating Same Sex Marraige: If principles of justice depend on the moral or intrinsic worth of the ends that rights serve, how should we deal with the fact that people hold different ideas and conceptions of what is good? Students address this question in a heated debate about whether same-sex marriage should be legal. Can we settle the matter without discussing the moral permissibility of homosexuality or the purpose of marriage? Part 2 - The Good Life: Sandel believes government can't be neutral on difficult moral questions, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and asks why we shouldn't deliberate all issues—including economic and civic concerns—with that same moral and spiritual aspiration. In his final lecture, Professor Michael Sandel eloquently makes the case for a new politics of the common good. Engaging, rather than avoiding, the moral convictions of our fellow citizens may be the best way of seeking a just society.
Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history, having taught more than 14,000 students over the course of two decades. In this course, Sandel challenges us with difficult moral dilemmas and asks our opinion about the right thing to do. He then asks us to examine our answers in the light of new scenarios. The results are often surprising, revealing that important moral questions are never black and white. This course also addresses the hot topics of our day—affirmative action, same-sex marriage, patriotism and rights—and Sandel shows us that we can revisit familiar controversies with a fresh perspective. Each lecture in this course has two parts as well as related readings and discussion guides.
Harvard University, founded in 1636, is America's oldest Ivy League university. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard consists of an undergraduate program, the College, as well as 13 other graduate level schools and institutes offering top-ranked programs in fields such as Medicine, Business, and Law. Notable alumni include former U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, poet Robert Frost, architect Frank Gehry, songwriter Leonard Bernstein, and comedian Conan O'Brien.