Harvard political philosopher and bestselling author Michael Sandel challenges audiences to examine the ethical dilemmas we confront in politics, business, and our everyday lives.
One of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers, Sandel has been described as “the most relevant living philosopher”, “a rock-star moralist” (Newsweek), and “the most famous teacher of philosophy in the world.” (New Republic). His writings – on justice, democracy, morals, and markets – have been translated into 27 languages.
Sandel’s legendary course “Justice” has enrolled over 15,000 students and was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on public television. It has been viewed by millions of people around the world, including in China, where China Newsweek named him the “most influential foreign figure of the year.”
His BBC Radio 4 series “The Public Philosopher” explores the philosophical ideas lying behind the headlines with audiences around the world; one program, a discussion of violence against women, was recorded in India, following a notorious rape incident in New Delhi. Another took place in Britain’s Palace of Westminster, where Sandel led a debate about democracy with members of Parliament and the public. In Brazil, he recently led a debate on corruption and the ethics of everyday life that reached an audience of 19 million on Globo TV. In Japan, his series on ethics for NHK, Japan’s national television network, convened students from China, Japan, and South Korea to discuss whether moral responsibility for historic wrongs extends across generations.
Sandel has been a pioneer in the use of new technology to promote global public discourse. In a new BBC series, “The Global Philosopher”, Sandel leads video-linked discussions with participants from over 30 countries on the ethical aspects of issues such as immigration and climate change.
In his New York Times bestseller ‘Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?’, Michael Sandel takes readers on a fascinating journey of moral reflection and shows how reasoned debate can illuminate democratic life. ‘Justice’ has sold over two million copies worldwide and inspired public debate about the ethical and civic questions of our time. In his latest bestseller, ‘What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets’, Sandel invites readers to rethink the role that money and markets should play in our lives. One of Foreign Policy’s “20 must-read books” of the year, it is now a six-part series hosted by the Ford Foundation and moderated by the Financial Times’ Rana Foroohar.
Michael Sandel served for four years on the President’s Council on Bioethics, exploring the ethical implications of new biomedical technologies. This prompted him to write ‘The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering’, a book about the moral quandaries that arise when we seek to perfect our children and ourselves.
Described by The Guardian as “the man who is currently the most effective communicator of ideas in English”, Sandel’s books and online lectures have brought him “the kind of popularity usually reserved for Hollywood movie stars and NBA players.” (China Daily).
His recent lecture tours have taken him across five continents and packed such venues as St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), the Sydney Opera House, and an outdoor amphitheater in Seoul, Korea, where 14,000 people came to hear him speak. Moreover, for his strong work “on the normative foundations of liberal democracy as well as the defense of civic virtues,” Michael Sandel won the Princess of Asturias Award in Social Sciences from Spain, in 2018.