What you'll learn
The fundamentals of political philosophy
An understanding of social justice and criminal justice, and the roles they play in the modern justice system
A deeper sense of the philosophy that underlies modern issues such as affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and equality
The ability to better articulate and evaluate philosophical arguments and ask philosophical questions
Taught by lauded Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.
The principal readings for the course are texts by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls. Other assigned readings include writings by contemporary philosophers, court cases, and articles about political controversies that raise philosophical questions.