Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do? A Public Lecture on Michael J.

Sandel’s Recent Book Boston University School of Law October 14, 2010, Third Symposium: David Roochnik – Sandel invokes many Aristotelian concepts— nature, essence, the good, and, of course, telos—including the meta-Q on the highest good or end: what is political association for. Roochnik asks whether Aristotelian political science/ethics & legal/moral theory is separable from the rest of his philosophy. He claims further that he defers to a sort of ― moral phenomenology‖—a privileging of experience. What’s missing in light of this is an entire story about why it makes sense to draw on experience—his theory of perception, & why ordinary narratives have evidentiary value. His cohesiveness is exhibit A against Sandel who will have a harder time grounding these claims. Re: Sandel’s The Case Against Perfection – Book on bioethics that makes a distinction btwn medicine and bioengineering, the latter of which crosses natural bounds, which are presumably normative. Why? Aristotle can answer; Sandel cannot without cleaving more closely to this son of a doctor. Judith Swanson – Generally agrees with Sandel but disagrees with interpretation/implications of a paricular passage in NE, dealing w the three varieties of man-made justice: distributive or honorific (nb among those who share a constitution), economic, and punitive or criminal (―rectificatory‖)). The latter is divided into two:

but also because he believed that opinion told us something real and truthful about the world (vs. virtuous at all times. Sandel contrasts this Straussian vision with Roochnik’s interpretation of Aristotle that emphasizes the authority of doxa— something more than the appeal to intuition. Technology – Weber’s streetcar^3 (proliferation of distractions) 3. lest things get worse. In short. the one exception. punitive. Aristotle recognizes that this coincidence may not be prudent. commonly understood). the justice dealing with violence is necessary. Swanson identifies four impediments to this aim: 1. Self-editing in public may be necessary. Interests – ―Democracy is not an end or an aim but a method. the justice having to do w violence. However. Philosophy had to address itself to the life of the city for relevance’s sake. ―those people‖. the populations ought to a) already want to be virtuous and b) have a good chance of success. One listens not because the opinions are necessarily true but because recognition must be given to passions and convictions of the everyman—of. Until then. perhaps. yes. Aristotle argues. not all political climates are friendly to all opinions and arguments (cf case of Socrates). The university is. These are . Language – Babel 2. considering returning). Sandel wants a culture that takes moral arguments seriously. unlike Prof Sandel. The Q is whether that method can change the hearts & minds of the majority. Violence – Aristotle does not desire divided selves—citizens in one instance and contemplative philosophers in another. truth is dangerous. escaping from the cave and only then. 4.voluntary and involuntary (criminal. ideally. In other words.

. and preclude the dialectical engagement that Aristotle no less desires. of human nature. He points out that the obstacles named by Swanson. In his reply to Roochnik. would apply to nearly all societies. Political participation and a say in being ruled are indispensible to the full development of human faculties. which seem more Platonic in their cynicism [concern with social goods over individual]. Sandel’s claims his advocacy of free deliberation with equals also implies that it is necessary in order to be a full human.the raw materials—the grist—from which the philosopher builds her account.

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