The Moral Limits of Markets
Michael J. Sandel
“Sandel is just the right person to get to the bottom of the tangle of moral damage that is being done by markets to our values.”—Jeremy Waldron, The New York Review Review of Books
Should we allow corporations to pay for the right to pollute the atmosphere?
Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs?
What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars? Auctioning admission to elite universities?
Selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?
In What Money Can’t Buy, Michael J. Sandel—“the world’s most relevant living philosopher” (Newsweek)—takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relationships. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. “There is no more fundamental question we face than how to best preserve the common good and build strong communities that benefit everyone. Sandel’s book is an excellent starting place for that dialogue.”—Kevin J. Hamilton, The Seattle Times
Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University. His work has been the subject of television series on PBS and the BBC.
What Money Can’t Buy has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:
Skidmore College (NY); University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; University of Texas at Austin