Justice (2007), Michael J. Sandel

Justice (2007), Michael J. Sandel

Seungmin Jung

Professor Sandel’s book remotely makes an argument for what is or should be ‘Justice,’ but rather merely opens up the long traditioned debate through his own informative introductory. As remarkable is Prof. Sandel’s intellect and admirable his knowledge on various philosphical backgrounds on morality, without having suggested clearly what he believes to be is “Justice”, the New York Times BestSeller may have been a revelation for the dim-witted, but nothing more than a well formulated tease for the enlightened. Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? is Prof. Sandel’s call for a Renaissance of Citizenry – an initially appealing yet outdated and trouble-ridden concept.

All 3 approaches to Justice introduced fails to provide a clear-cut definition of ‘Justice’ or what it may consist of. Ask the proper line of questionings against the approaches and all perspectives will fail to withstand the cross examination. “Please present to us … “

  1. On Chapter 2. The Greatest Happiness Principle/ Utilitarianism
    1. Case of 4 English Sailors aboard S.S. Mignonette
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    2. sdf
    3. sdf
  2. On Chapter 3. Do We Own Ourselves? / Libertarianism
    1. The Minimal State
      1. The traditional libertarian theory of rights, above all, fails to take into consideration as a factor the international security and economic competition amongst states in its discourse on an ideal form of government – the Minimal State. The compelling necessity of government intervention in the market clearly exists – the only modern issue is whether consent to it has been given.
      2. Prof. Sandel is correct in stating that “the libertarian philosphy does not map neatly into the political spectrum (61).” Milton Friedman (1912-2006) in The Capitalism and Freedom (1962) failed to comprehend the importance of possible long-term aims and effects of government regulations on freedom of individuals: to ensure the freedoms of its own individual citizens through preventing foreign states’ intervention be it military, social or economic. Friedman’s blind trust in the free market combined with his refusal to acknowledge that a (1) fully informed rational consumer/choice maker and (2) achievement of market equilibrium are myths. In Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974), Robert Nozick wrongfully assumes the existence of an “equal opportunity” for all participants in the market place to compete for ‘justified’ gains, free from the shackles of inherited wealth and uneven talents of exceptional individuals.
      3. Case of Michael Jordan’s Money
        1. Whether being voluntary or nay, history testifies to the catastrophic results of what were seemingly carefully considered human decisions. This is why we witness state’s acting as if it has its own motives and agendas, sometimes seemingly seperate from and independent of the direct wishes of the mass public – general or public sentiment.
        2. All humans are subservient entities to someone or some higher force. Nozick is incorrect in assuming that truly any of us are free. Bound to our mortal flesh and pre-designated environmental factors, we are all indebtors and slaves. The only relevant question in the matter of government taxation is whether consent has been given.
        3. Sandel proposes 5 Objections to the Libertarian view suggested by Nozick’s example.
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      5. Selling Kidneys
      6. Assisted Suicide
      7. Consensual Cannibalism
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3. On the devolving definition of “Citizenry” in Political History

One of the most unavoidable yet objectionable assumptions made by the author would be the application of “morality” as a standard for setting what is “Just.” Completely adverting the material and tangible manifestation of “Justice” in the form of law and studies immersed in its application to discuss what is “just,” it is simply assumed that (1) “morality,” rather than being a vague, immaterial social construct, can be logically deduced and eventually, defined and (2) this philosophical discussion of what is moral can contribute to one’s endeavor in searching for what is “just.” To those whom are familiar with the various forms of political institutions, governance, and decision making procedures, the above propsed endeavor is nothing less than futile. And so ends the Book. It is an oxymoron to simultaneously argue that (1) “morality” is something innate to human kind rather than a set of virtues formulated through active consensus of the people as is the law and that (2) different perspectives or approaches compete to determine what is “moral.” fails to be a universal, or at least regional consensus,

inequal class society will need to be resurrected or city states , participation as a way of life, community consolidation/ solidarity as a virtue and necessity in life

Then What is Justice?

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