Question: Whose work are you watching?
Michael Sandel: I suppose the political philosopher – the contemporary political philosopher – whose work I most admire is someone who was a teacher of mine, and who I admire most, and that’s Charles Taylor, who held a professorship in political theory at Oxford during the days that I was there as a graduate student. And he was also very actively involved in Canadian politics … time. And he … he’s nominally in retirement, but he’s still active in producing important work. But from Charles Taylor, I learned about Aristotle, and about Hagel, and about the tension between the enlightenment project – which gives rise to universal notions from modern liberalism – and other traditions … the republican tradition, the romantic tradition, and also religious traditions that are intentioned with modern understandings of the self. So I would say Charles Kaylor is really, among contemporary philosophers, my hero.
Recorded on: 6/12/07
Michael Sandel: I think the reason we have such an impoverished public debate is that we are too reluctant to take on hard controversial, but important moral questions that really go to the heart of the question...