Friday, June 12, 2009

Michael Sandel - Philosophy Bites

Philosophy Bites had an exquisite guest in Michael Sandel. On a side note, Sandel will be giving the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures and they will be podcast as well. So there will be more Sandel soon.

The interview on Philosophy Bites delivers us the concise and comprehensive thing you must know about Sandel's thinking: about morality and the market. It is the best preparation for the more extensive lectures on the BBC.

Sandel basically responds to the capitalist notion that is hardly challenged these days, that market forces are good and it is best to leave as much regulation as possible to the market. Essentially this means that anything is open for trade and Sandel asks the question whether there are things that cannot be sold. The exemplary subject is surely slavery. The strength of Sandel, and he is challenged by Nigel Warburton, is to show non-utilitarian reasons for this. Another example is that of war. It turns out, warfare, these days, is largely outsourced and the US have discovered they fight in Iraq with mostly mercenaries. Sandel points out, that here the market has brought about a policy that was never debated in public. So, not only is the market not necessarily as far as results is concerned, it can also be of dubious morality and eventually replaces public policy and political conscious debate, if completely free.

More Philosophy Bites
Aristotle's Ethics,
Alternative Hedonism,
Non-realism of God.

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