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Justice

This introduction to moral and political philosophy is one of the most popular courses taught at Harvard College.

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470,675 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Sep 16
Ends Oct 29
Starts Sep 16
Estimated 12 weeks
3–6 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
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About this course

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Taught by lauded Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.

The principal readings for the course are texts by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls. Other assigned readings include writings by contemporary philosophers, court cases, and articles about political controversies that raise philosophical questions.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcripts: Deutsch, English, Español, Português, 中文

What you'll learn

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  • The fundamentals of political philosophy
  • An understanding of social justice and criminal justice, and the roles they play in the modern justice system
  • A deeper sense of the philosophy that underlies modern issues such as affirmative action, same sex marriage, and equality
  • The ability to better articulate and evaluate philosophical arguments and ask philosophical questions

About the instructors

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