8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Well Balanced Lessons on Justice and Morality,
This review is from: Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)Some time ago I read parts of Sandel's Justice: A Reader for a class, and I enjoyed the collection. Therefor I was happy to see that he'd written a book. I got it on CD so I could listen to it in the car to and from work, get my little grey cells working.
He covers several moral philosophies, including utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, and laissez-faire, to name a few.
I was happy with the variety of views. It was fascinating to learn the different ways morality was defined in each of the systems covered. To illustrate points and teach the systems better Sandel introduces moral puzzles, some of which you might be familiar with, like the hungry men on the lifeboat. I liked how he gives you the moral puzzle, shows you the moral questions involved, then changes the story slightly and asks you the same question again. It really helps you understand your morals personally, as well as understanding what the morals of others might be.
The first 3 discs (of 5) actually cover morality, rather than justice, which makes sense, since morals strongly influence justice and people's perception of justice. Something can be morally wrong but just or morally right but unjust. Like most elements of philosophy, it can get confusing, bringing you to the point where you just want to know what the answers are!!! But of course there aren't any easy answers. There is no universal answer. Utilitarians and Libertarians and Kant and Rawls might look at the same situation and not all see it as just. Such as the case of throwing Christians to the lions; which, under Utilitarian philosophy, is ok because it gives greater utility to the people enjoying the spectacle (who outnumber the Christians being slaughtered). A Libertarian would say 'forget the masses, the individual is more important'.
All in all, I highly recommend this book, and I'll probably listen to it twice so I can absorb all the knowledge. As well as giving you interesting puzzles to work out and think about, it's a good lesson on the philosophies that are all still popular today.