Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?
PART ONE: HIRED GUNS
During the Civil War, men drafted into war had
the option of hiring substitutes to fight in their place. Professor
Sandel asks students whether they consider this policy just. Many do
not, arguing that it is unfair to allow the affluent to avoid serving
and risking their lives by paying less privileged citizens to fight in
their place. This leads to a classroom debate about war and
conscription. Is todays voluntary army open to the same objection?
Should military service be allocated by the labor market or by
conscription? What role should patriotism play, and what are the
obligations of citizenship? Is there a civic duty to serve ones
country? And are utilitarians and libertarians able to account for this
PART TWO: MOTHERHOOD: FOR SALE
In this lecture, Professor
Sandel examines the principle of free-market exchange in light of the
contemporary controversy over reproductive rights. Sandel begins with a
humorous discussion of the business of egg and sperm donation. He then
describes the case of Baby M"â€”a famous legal battle in the mid-eighties
that raised the unsettling question, Who owns a baby?" In 1985, a woman
named Mary Beth Whitehead signed a contract with a New Jersey couple,
agreeing to be a surrogate mother in exchange for a fee of ,000.
However, after giving birth, Ms. Whitehead decided she wanted to keep
the child, and the case went to court. Sandel and students debate the
nature of informed consent, the morality of selling a human life, and
the meaning of maternal rights.