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September 27, 2009 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Michael Sandel's "Justice" has long been one of the most popular courses at Harvard. Now for the first time the class is being broadcast online. The site for "Justice."

"Justice" is a wide-ranging introduction to issues in normative ethics and political morality that aims to work as a kind of supplementary civic education: "In a way, . . . the course [tries] to model what public discourse would be like if it were more morally ambitious than it is." The video series is an ambitious (and expensive) production, using multiple cameras to capture student discussion as well as Prof. Sandel's words.
posted by grobstein (25 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Link to first episode video.)
posted by grobstein at 12:53 PM on September 27, 2009


thanks!

sorta previously :P
posted by kliuless at 1:11 PM on September 27, 2009


It's interesting but the simplistic examples are really annoying: "Suppose four shipwrecked sailors are stranded at sea in a lifeboat, without food or water. Would it be wrong for three of them to kill and eat the cabin boy, in order to save their own lives?"
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:12 PM on September 27, 2009


great, thanks
posted by johnny novak at 1:17 PM on September 27, 2009


"There is no cannibalism in the British Royal Navy. None. And when I say 'none' I mean there is a certain amount of it."
posted by found missing at 1:18 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


great (if basic) class. I would love to have more time for this. or is it my patience?
posted by krautland at 2:13 PM on September 27, 2009


Foci: The thing is, the shipwrecked sailors example actually happened, and Sandel goes into some detail about the event. It might be simplistic, but that doesn't make it any less useful.
posted by adrianhon at 2:19 PM on September 27, 2009


Great, now kids at Harvard will skip class even more than they already do...

But seriously, this course has been a massively popular introduction to ethics for decades now, and it's terrific that people will have the opportunity to learn from Sandel's lectures long after his retirement. Next they should do Roderick McFarquhar's course on the Cultural Revolution, which filled a 900-person lecture hall when I was in school.
posted by escabeche at 2:22 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome.

I've browsed the iTunes U stuff a little bit, but the sheer bulk of material has prevented me from getting very far with it. Are there any sites or blogs dedicated to pointing out the courses and lectures not to be missed?
posted by roll truck roll at 2:41 PM on September 27, 2009


Great, now kids at Harvard will skip class even more than they already do...

I bet the TV cameras boosted attendance for a while, though.
posted by grobstein at 2:50 PM on September 27, 2009


adrianhon, yeah, you're right. The examples are frustrating but they are pretty useful tools to start thinking about morality and ethics. Also, you're bound to have very engaging and interesting discussions.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:09 PM on September 27, 2009


Is there an RSS feed of this I can stick into Liferea/Banshee or am I pretty much doomed to youtube?
posted by pwnguin at 3:47 PM on September 27, 2009


Speaking of cannibalism, Richard Parker (shipwrecked) is one of my favorite wikipedia pages.
posted by jewzilla at 4:51 PM on September 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh man. I didn't do so well in Justice. Maybe I ought to watch this again and see if I could do better now that I'm not 18.

(The main thing I remember is that by taking Justice, I got the Les Mis/Justice joke in Les Phys [libretto pdf]: "There is a fat man on a bridge" sung to the tune of "There is a castle on a cloud.")
posted by ocherdraco at 6:16 PM on September 27, 2009


This is awesome. Thank you.
posted by lunit at 6:42 PM on September 27, 2009


I had pretty much given up on courses that have been filmed and put online. I've never seen a good one. The filming is always an afterthought. But from the intro video, this looks great! Very professional, very accessible... I hope that the quality doesn't diminish and this becomes kind of thing I can recommend to undergrads and send to parents and friends who ask me about the sorts of things I study.
posted by painquale at 9:56 PM on September 27, 2009


I've browsed the iTunes U stuff a little bit, but the sheer bulk of material has prevented me from getting very far with it. Are there any sites or blogs dedicated to pointing out the courses and lectures not to be missed?

I second this question.
posted by brundlefly at 10:11 PM on September 27, 2009


I've browsed the iTunes U stuff a little bit, but the sheer bulk of material has prevented me from getting very far with it. Are there any sites or blogs dedicated to pointing out the courses and lectures not to be missed?

I second this question.


AskMe
posted by Ndwright at 11:27 PM on September 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fun, thanks for posting this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:36 PM on September 27, 2009


I had pretty much given up on courses that have been filmed and put online. I've never seen a good one.

ditto podcasts with mumbling professors, terrible 'room noise' and coughing students.

The production values on the Sandel lectures are a big step forward, and hopefully raise the bar for others.
posted by johnny novak at 11:50 PM on September 27, 2009


This was very much worth watching.
posted by RawrGulMuffins at 12:07 AM on September 28, 2009


FYI -- another interesting website with videos of lectures, conferences, etc: Harvard@Home.
posted by ericb at 12:59 PM on September 28, 2009


My partner and I watched Episode 1 last night and then went through the Discussion Guide and it spurred a really entertaining conversation. Now we're planning on nerding it up and following along all semester. :)

Great stuff, thanks for posting!
posted by heatherann at 12:04 PM on September 29, 2009


pwnguin: Is there an RSS feed of this I can stick into Liferea/Banshee or am I pretty much doomed to youtube?

YouTube channels have RSS feeds; I stuck it into a Yahoo Pipe and slapped a filter and sort onto it: RSS.
posted by WCityMike at 5:16 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


YouTube channels have RSS feeds; I stuck it into a Yahoo Pipe and slapped a filter and sort onto it smoked it
posted by grobstein at 7:00 PM on October 17, 2009


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