The Case Against Perfection
Date(s) - 04/27/2009
Wong Auditorium, MIT
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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. He is the author of Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 1982, 2nd edition, 1998), Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy (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). His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, and Korean. His writings also appear in general publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and The New York Times. Sandel’s courses include “Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature,” “Markets, Morals, and Law,” and “Globalization and Its Critics.” His undergraduate course, “Justice,” has enrolled over 14,000 students. In 2007, Harvard made the Justice course available to alumni around the world through webstreaming and podcasting. A recipient of the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Sandel was named a Harvard College Professor in 1999, and in 2008 was recognized by the American Political Science Association for a career of excellence in teaching. Sandel has lectured to academic and general audiences in North America, Europe, Japan, China, India, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne (Paris), delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford University, and in 2007 gave a series of eight lectures at universities throughout China. From 2002 to 2005, Sandel served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, a national body appointed by the President to examine the ethical implications of new biomedical technologies. The recipient of three honorary degrees, Sandel is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. A summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University (1975), Sandel received his doctorate from Oxford University (D.Phil.,1981), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Co-sponsors: The Philosophy Section of the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy