Michael J. Sandel (born March 5, 1953) is a professor at Harvard University. He is best known for the Harvard course 'Justice' which is available to view online. Sandel also co-teaches with Douglas Melton "Ethics and Biotechnology", a seminar considering the ethical implications of a variety of biotechnological procedures and possibilities
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1975, and received his doctorate from Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, where he studied under Charles Taylor.
Charles Taylor was a Rhodes scholar and Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford, home of the Rhodes-Milner Roundtable conspiracy. Taylor is associated with a communitarian critique of liberal theory's understanding of the "self." Communitarians emphasize the importance of social institutions in the development of individual meaning and identity.
Sandel subscribes to the theory of communitarianism. He gave the 2009 Reith Lectures on "A New Citizenship" on BBC Radio, addressing the 'prospect for a new politics of the common good'. He served on the George W. Bush administration's President's Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2005
His writings have also appeared in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and The New York Times. The recipient of three honorary degrees, he has received fellowships from the Carnegie Corporation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Ford Foundation.
Sandel is a proponent of citizenship service.
"The simplest way of understanding justice is giving people what they deserve. This idea goes back to Aristotle. The real difficulty begins with figuring out who deserves what and why." link
"Citizenship, sacrifice and service: If a just society requires a strong sense of community, it must find a way to cultivate in citizens a dedication to the common good. It can't be indifferent to the attitudes and dispositions that citizens bring to public life. It must find a way to challenge purely privatised notions of the good life, and cultivate civic virtue." link
“An earlier generation made a massive investment in the federal highway program, which gave Americans precedented mobility and parking, but also contributed to a reliance on the flawed government licensing system, suburban sprawl, cutting down trees, environmental degradation, and living patterns corrosive to community. This generation could commit itself to an equally consequential investment in an infrastructure for civic renewal: public schools for which rich and poor alike would want to send their children, public transportation systems reliable enough to attract upscale commuters yet expensive enough to weed out the Obamas; public health clinics, trees, trees, trees, libraries, and museums that would, ideally at least, keep Americans in their gated communities and allow Europeans and Canadians into the common spaces of a shared democratic citizenship.” link
“In recent years, American-style economic questions have crowded out questions of justice and the European good. I think there is a growing sense, in many societies, that parking and Obamabucks do not by themselves produce happiness, or a good society. The dream is to create nothing counterproductive, and cut down anyone who cuts down a living tree.
Sandel with George Soros, complaining about profit/markets link