Sandel considers the role of moral argument in politics. He believes that it is often not possible for government to be neutral on moral questions and calls for a more engaged civic debate about issues such as commercial surrogacy and same-sex marriage.
The Reith Lectures are the BBC's flagship annual lecture series. Professor Michael Sandel delivers four lectures, recorded in London, Oxford, Newcastle, and Washington, D.C., about the prospects of a new politics of the common good.
Is rape a worse crime than other forms of violent assault? Should verbal sexual harassment be banned? These are two questions put by Harvard's Michael Sandel - BBC Radio 4's 'Public Philosopher' - who takes the programme to an audience at the Jaipur Literature Festival. The discussion follows the brutal rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi at the end of last year, a crime that provoked a national outcry in India.
Should governments try to influence private morality? Michael Sandel, The Public Philosopher, is back with a new series. In this first programme he is at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, one of the world's most permissive countries. It has liberal laws on prostitution, cannabis and euthanasia. Professor Sandel leads a discussion about the role of the state in shaping and policing our moral values.
Should it be compulsory to vote? Should we fine people who don't vote? Should we pay people to vote? This is the week that the UK goes to the polls - amid ongoing concerns about the level of democratic participation. In this edition of The Public Philosopher, Harvard professor Michael Sandel hosts a discussion about voting, with an audience at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
For the BBC's Democracy Day, Professor Sandel recorded this special edition of The Public Philosopher inside the Palace of Westminster, challenging his audience of MPs, Peers and the public to think deeply about the true nature of democracy.
Michael Sandel explores the philosophical justifications made for national borders. Using a pioneering state-of-the-art studio at the Harvard Business School, Prof Sandel is joined by 60 participants from over 30 countries in a truly global digital space.
Is there any moral distinction between a political refugee and an economic migrant? If people have the right to exit a country, why not a right to enter? Do nations have the right to protect the affluence of their citizens? And is there such a thing as a 'national identity'? These are just some of the questions addressed by Prof Sandel in this first edition of The Global Philosopher.
Sixty people from 30 countries join Michael Sandel in a digital studio at Harvard to discuss the philosophical issues underlying the world's response to climate change.
The developed world has caused climate change, belting out greenhouse gases as it became rich (at least, most people think so). But the developing world – huge and growing economies like India and China – is increasingly a big part of the problem. So who should pay to fix the mess? Is it fair to penalise the developing world as it strives to catch up? Is it acceptable that rich countries be allowed to buy credits, giving them permission to pollute? And is it time to re-think our material aspirations?
Democracy thrives on civil debate, Michael Sandel says — but we're shamefully out of practice. He leads a fun refresher, with TEDsters sparring over a recent Supreme Court case (PGA Tour Inc. v. Martin) whose outcome reveals the critical ingredient in justice.