Michael Sandel Quotes.
The way things are does not determine the way they ought to be
Self-knowledge is like lost innocence; however unsettling you find it, it can never be ‘unthought’ or ‘unknown’.
Democracy does not require perfect equality, but it does require that citizens share in a common life.
In most of our lives, we are accustomed to aiming at mastery and control and dominion- – over nature, over our lives, over our jobs, over our careers, over the goods that we buy.
There are some religious traditions that view human beings as participants in creation. This is true of the Jewish tradition, from which I come.
One of the ways in which parenting is a learning experience and an opportunity for moral growth is that we learn as parents that we don’t choose the kind of child that we have.
The responsibility of political philosophy that tries to engage with practice is to be clear, or at least accessible.
The majority of American states had laws by the 1930s that allowed for forced sterilization of socially undesirable categories of people, so-called feeble-minded, for example, and with Hitler culminating in genocide.
Markets are useful instruments for organizing productive activity. But unless we want to let the market rewrite the norms that govern social institutions, we need a public debate about the moral limits of markets.
If we go too far down the road of choosing the genetic traits of children, my worry is that parenting will be less a kind of school for humility than it should be, and we will become too accustomed to regarding children as instruments of our ambition and of our desires.
I grew up in a Jewish family, and we have raised our children in a Jewish tradition. Religion gives a framework for moral enquiry in young minds and points us to questions beyond the material.
I find this in all these places I’ve been travelling – from India to China, to Japan and Europe and to Brazil – there is a frustration with the terms of public discourse, with a kind of absence of discussion of questions of justice and ethics and of values.
A market economy is a tool – a valuable and effective tool – for organizing productive activity. A market society is a way of life in which market values seep into every aspect of human endeavour. It’s a place where social relations are made over in the image of the market.
When I arrived at Harvard, I wanted to design a course in political theory that would have interested me, back when I was started out, in a way that the standard things didn’t.
A better way to mutual respect is to engage directly with the moral convictions citizens bring to public life, rather than to require that people leave their deepest moral convictions outside politics before they enter.
I am fortunate to have enough money not to have to worry about the necessities of life. Beyond that, I try to think about money as little as possible.
Democracy does not require perfect equality, but it does require that citizens share a common life. What matters is that people of different backgrounds and social positions encounter one another, and bump up against one another, in the course of ordinary life.