An introduction to moral and political philosophy.
Join Harvard professor Michael Sandel in this course that explores critical analysis of justice theories, including discussion of present-day applications.
3-6 hours a week
What You'll Learn
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.
The course will be delivered via edX and connect learners around the world. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- 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
Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he teaches political philosophy. His course "Justice" has enrolled more than 15,000 Harvard students. Sandel's writings have been published in 21 languages.
Ways to take this course
When you enroll in this course, you will have the option of pursuing a Verified Certificate or Auditing the Course.
A Verified Certificate costs $209 and provides unlimited access to full course materials, activities, tests, and forums. At the end of the course, learners who earn a passing grade can receive a certificate.
Alternatively, learners can Audit the course for free and have access to select course material, activities, tests, and forums. Please note that this track does not offer a certificate for learners who earn a passing grade.