On Thursday, I had a wonderful time interviewing Michael Sandel in Tokyo for a magazine. Sandel's "Justice" (http://www.justiceharvard.org/) is very popular in Japan, as elsewhere in the world. The whole lecture has been broadcast on NHK educational. Lots of people were deeply inspired by Prof. Sandel's passionate teaching.
Prof. Sandel told me how much hard work has been put into the making of the series. Although there are lots of open coursewares on the web, the "Justice" program is unique in the quality of the video work, not to mention the academic excellence.
Although the ambience of the Harvard classroom was one of the key elements in the "Justice" experience, the defining moment came from deep thinking. In the first lecture, after discussing the Trolley car example, Prof. Sandel goes on to deliver a short speech. That's when he says that the purpose of the lecture was to incur a "restlessness of reason" in the students. I almost gasped when it came. The restless of reason has been in me ever since.
With Michael Sandel in Tokyo.