Justice Or Injustice?

Posted on February 13, 2010


I recently finished reading “Justice” by Professor Michael J. Sandel. Professor Sandel teaches a class on the same subject at Harvard University. The content of this book is taken from the subject matter that he presents to his classes.  He basically wants the reader to examine questions of contemporary controversy and arrive at a way of determining what would be the right thing to do in each situation.  Our starting point is a situation concerning a runaway train bearing down on five workers at the end of a track. The Engineer has an option of  veering off on another track which has only one worker at the end . What would be the right thing to do, kill five or turn onto the other track and kill only one? You think the answer is obvious, however by the time Professor Sandel has  schooled you in the thinking of Philosophers Immanuel Kant and Aristotle, you may well have an entirely different view of what you thought should have been obvious.  Though this was not the best book I have ever read, I was taken with the clarity with which Professor Sandel is able to explain the complex Philosophical concepts of Kant’s view of  The Moral Law, decipher some of The Critique of Pure Reason and delve into Aristotle’s view of Politics and “The Good Life”.  At 269 pages, if you start it and don’t really like it, it won’t consume an immense amount of your time to finish it.  Maybe it’s just me but, if I start a book I can’t stand to not finish it.