What Money Can't Buy

What Money Can't Buy

The Moral Limits of Markets

Summary

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay? Isn't there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale?

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 relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.

In What Money Can't Buy, Sandel examines one of the biggest ethical questions of our time and provokes a debate that's been missing in our market-driven age: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy?

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About the author

Michael J. Sandel

Michael J. Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His books What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, and Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? were international best sellers and have been translated into 27 languages. Sandel's legendary course 'Justice' was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television and has been viewed by tens of millions of people. His BBC series 'The Global Philosopher' explores the philosophical ideas lying behind the headlines with participants from around the world.

Sandel has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne, delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford, the Reith Lectures for the BBC, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His lecture tours have taken him across five continents and packed such venues as St. Paul's Cathedral (London), the Sydney Opera House (Australia), and an outdoor stadium in Seoul (S. Korea), where 14,000 people came to hear him speak.
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