What Money Can’t Buy: Book Summary
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What Money Can’t Buy: Book Summary
Michael Sandel is counted among the leading political philosophers in contemporary times. Sandel has created an indelible mark in the field of political theory thanks to his classic works including the latest book What Money Can’t Buy. This Professor of Government at Harvard University Law School not only makes his lectures available online, but also free of charge (Aitkenhead, 2012). His career has been labelled controversial because of his dedication to addressing morally contentious questions that face the modern-day society. By way of example, in his book Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, Sandel focuses on the ideal of leaving people to choose their own goals and values (Alwan, 2015). In this same text, Sandel goes a step further to challenge John Rawls’ ideology of justice. Sandel renders Rawls’ theory of justice incomplete when a moral subject (person) is not allowed to choose his/her ends and is free from the community, history, and personal attributes (Alwan, 2015). In his book What Money Can’t Buy, Sandel further challenges the moral character of markets. Sandel asserts that economics ought to be seen as a moral philosophy rather than a science. More to the point, he criticizes the current market situation where a monetary value is attached to nearly everything. Things that customarily should not be offered for sale are nowadays transacted routinely. Sandel (2012) cites excellent examples including a person’s fertility and betting on other people’s lives that, until recently, were not sellable. The content of Sandel’s book is suitable for everyone who is concerned with the continued erosion of social values by people who place more emphasis on markets and money. Pretty much everyone is invited to read Sandel’s work as all people engage in trading activities. Moreover, money plays an important role in the lives of present-day people. Sandel’s methodology of listing multiple examples of his subject matter, combined with his simple writing style, further cements the idea that the target audience is popular rather than academic. His approach to writing is persuasive to those who would otherwise question either the existence or the legitimacy of this ethical problem. Sandel’s book deserves scholarly credibility as he cites existing examples and factual information to convey his message. Undeniably, Sandel’s articulate and thoughtful work challenges the prevailing ideology that markets should govern everything that human beings do (Aitkenhead, 2012). For this reason, it is an indispensable resource in society.

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