Saturday, August 28, 2010

Michael Sandel.

On Thursday, I had a wonderful time interviewing Michael Sandel in Tokyo for a magazine. Sandel's "Justice" ( 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.


Greg said...

Professor Sandel provides an example of the transformative potential of human interactions, particularly in the university environment. It is wonderful the WGBH and NHK make such experiences accessible to a wider audience. It should stimulate discussion about the objectives of education in a forward-thinking society.

Giao said...

It's so great you actually met him. Seeing Sandel in the flesh has always been my dream.

I'm thinking of bringing him to Vietnam.

You can find Sandel at some places other than, such as Or my blog, I invite.

Giao said...

I'm just deadly surprised that I read a book of yours and wrote an entry about it

Nice to know you, Mr Ken!

Sakurajima said...

" Restlessness of reason " seems to require good breathing.
Prof.Sandel's passionate teaching was so impressive for the fluency.

You are no less hot than he recently like an active volcano.
As I am not a little influenced by the adidididi(burning) cicada this summer, I'm working hard to have an explosive climax.

Seedling said...

I think that Professor Michael Sandel made philosophy accessible. And I greatly appreciate that. Though I missed the NHK broadcast of his lecture series, I heard the BBC radio broadcast of his discourses, four in all in June, 2009. I particularly enjoyed his argument on "Markets and Morals." It deals with greed and moral limits--the issues which I find relevant to contemporary society where people are still experiencing the hangover of Lehman shock.

I hadn't known anything about Professor Sandel. I hadn't even known the fact he had won worldwide popularity for his lecture on Justice. Besides, I had lost interest in philosophy since taking a summer course on philosophy in the UK in early 1990s. I had performed poorly in a small philosophy class and I had had a nasty philosophy teacher. Nonetheless, I listened to Professor Sandel's speech. It helped me improve the tarnished image of philosophy I'd had.