Skip navigation to content

Michael Sandel

What Money Can't Buy: Markets, Morals and Civic Life

Listen to audio

What Money Can’t Buy:
Markets, Morals
and Civic Life

Professor Michael Sandel
The Anne T and Robert M Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University

Monday 28 April 2014
5.30pm, Buchanan Lecture Theatre

Professor Michael Sandel is the Anne T and Robert M Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. His ground-breaking course Justice has now captivated more than 15,000 students worldwide and is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on public television. Having been described in the media as “the most relevant living philosopher”, “the most effective communicator of ideas in English”, a “rock-star moralist”,  and “the most famous teacher of philosophy in the world”, Michael Sandel is widely recognised as one of the greatest philosophical thinkers of his generation.

His latest book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time; what should be the role of money and markets in our society? Reviewers have called it “a brilliant, indispensable book on the relationship between morality and economics,” and “one of the most important exercises in public philosophy in many years”.

Sandel was recognised by the American Political Science Association in 2008 for a career of excellence in teaching and was also awarded the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize. He has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne (Paris), delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford University, and in 2009 delivered the BBC Reith Lectures. He now presents an ongoing series for BBC Radio 4 called The Public Philosopher (podcasts are available at: www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/r4sandel). In 2010, China Newsweek named Sandel “the most influential foreign figure of the year”.

Sandel received his doctorate from Oxford University (DPhil1981), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Harvard University profile: Professor Michael Sandel