• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    2–4 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
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  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Introductory
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English
  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time

About this course

Skip About this course

What should be the role of money and markets in our society? Are there some things that money should not be able to buy? Should people be permitted to buy sex, votes, babies, citizenship, or college admission? What about buying and selling the right to pollute, procreate, immigrate, discriminate, or to hunt endangered species? Should we use markets to govern health care, education, privacy, or criminal law?

Taught by award-winning professor Michael J. Sandel, this course will consider what moral limits, if any, the law should impose on market exchanges. Drawing upon philosophy and contemporary moral and political controversies, we will attempt to determine what goods and social practices should not be up for sale.

The videos in this course come from the Institute for New Economic Thinking. With permission, we have curated an experience in which you can engage with these ideas alongside other learners.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • The ways in which markets have crowded out non-market spaces and norms.
  • To reflect about the moral limits - if any - of market norms.
  • The main philosophical arguments on how goods ought to be allocated.
  • How to clearly articulate a philosophical argument about the allocation of goods and the moral boundaries of markets in our societies.

1 - The Ethics of Supply and Demand: Linestanding

2 - The Ethics of Supply and Demand: Price Gouging

3 - Environmental Protection: The Walrus Quota

4 - Consenting Adults: Organ Sales, Hard Jobs

5 - Betting on Life and Death: Life Insurance

6 - Betting on Life and Death: Death Pools

7 - Betting on the Housing Market

8 - Markets in Politics: Voting

9 - Markets in Politics: Refugee Quotas and Immigration

10 - Employment Discrimination: Lookism

11 - Employment Discrimination: Racial Discrimination and Base Desires

12 - Market, Incentives, and Norms

Meet your instructors

Michael J. Sandel
Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government
Harvard University

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