About the Department

Michael Sandel

Michael Sandel

Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government

Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. His recent book, What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: What should be the role of money and markets in our society?

Sandel's writings--on justice, ethics, democracy, and markets--have been translated into 27 languages.  His books include Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 1982, 2nd edition, 1998), Democracy's Discontent (Harvard University Press, 1996), Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics (Harvard University Press, 2005), and The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering (Harvard University Press, 2007), and Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009).

Sandel’s course "Justice," which has enrolled over 15,000 students, was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online (www.JusticeHarvard.org) and on television, and has been viewed by millions of people around the world. His other courses include include "Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature," and "Ethics, Economics, and Law."

A recipient of the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Sandel has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne (Paris), delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford University, and presents an ongoing series for BBC radio called "The Public Philosopher."  In 2010, China Newsweek named him the "most influential foreign figure of the year" in China.

In the U.S., Sandel served on the President's Council on Bioethics (2002-2005), and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of Brandeis University (1975), Sandel received his doctorate from Oxford University (D.Phil.,1981), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Email Address




Office Locations

1737 Cambridge Street, CGIS Knafel Building 432, Cambridge, MA 02138

Related Links

Harvard-WGBH Justice website
BBC Reith Lectures
ER22Xx: Justice (HarvardX)
BBC series: "Michael Sandel: The Public Philosopher"


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