Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to forprofit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?
In What Money Can't Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes up one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Isn't there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don't belong? What are the moral limits of markets?
In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life-medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.
In Justice, an international bestseller, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our everyday lives. Now, in What Money Can't Buy, he provokes a debate that's been missing in our market-driven age: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honor and money cannot buy?
Michael Sandel's Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? invites readers of all ages and political persuasions on a journey of moral reflection, and shows how reasoned debate can illuminate our lives. Is it always wrong to lie? Should there be limits to personal freedom? Can killing sometimes be justified? Is the free market fair? What is the right thing to do? Questions like these are at the heart of our lives. In this acclaimed book Michael Sandel - BBC Reith Lecturer and the Harvard professor whose 'Justice' course has become world famous - gives us a lively and accessible introduction to the intersection of politics and philosophy. He helps us think our way through such hotly contested issues as equal rights, democracy, euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage, as well as the ethical dilemmas we face every day. 'One of the most popular teachers in the world' - Observer 'Enormously refreshing ... Michael Sandel transforms moral philosophy by putting it at the heart of civic debate' - New Statesman 'One of the world's most interesting political philosophers' - Guardian 'Spellbinding' - The Nation