Michael Sandel on Justice, Aristotle & Gay Marriage

We have mentioned him here many times before. Michael Sandel teaches philosophy at Harvard, including the ever-popular course, "Justice," taken by some 14,000 students during the past two decades. (The legendary course is now freely available online.) Speaking at the Aspen Institute not too long ago, Sandel gave a very abbreviated version of the course. Call it "Justice in Under an Hour." (My title, not his.) And, by the time he wrapped things up, he got down to a timely question in America. Is it just for the state to withhold the institution of marriage from same sex couples? What would Aristotle (who laid the foundation for western thinking about justice) have to say about this question? And how do Sandel's Harvard students grapple with it? The full presentation is available above; the particular section on gay marriage is here.

Looking for free philosophy courses? Have a look through the Philosophy section of our big collection of Free Online Courses.


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