Harvard philosopher to speak at lecture series

September 16, 2014 | Events, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Lindsay Mahaney

The Edward Shapiro Distinguished Lecture Series is known for its great speakers: Oliver Sachs, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Elie Wiesel, Toni Morrison, Wynton Marsalis; now Dr. Michael Sandel is joining the list.

The Harvard University professor is scheduled to speak at the 2014 Edward Shapiro Distinguished Lecture Series Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Nitschke Hall Auditorium.



The talk is titled “Doing the Right Thing in Public and Private Life.” Presented by the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, this free event is open to the public; seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, said Sandel’s work on ethics and justice is relevant and will appeal to UT faculty, staff, students and the greater Toledo area.

“Dr. Sandel continues the Edward Shapiro Distinguished Lecture Series tradition of presenting eminent and celebrated speakers whose lives and work have significantly impacted American and global society,” Barlowe said.

For 30 years, Sandel has taught at Harvard University, where he serves as the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government. His course, Justice, was the first Harvard class offered freely online and on public television, enrolling more than 15,000 students.

The political philosopher is also a best-selling author. His book, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, is a New York Times bestseller that has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 27 different languages. His most recent book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, was named as one of the 20 must-read books of 2012, Barlowe said.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have both included Sandel’s lectures on television series, and he hosts a radio series on BBC, “The Public Philosopher,” that lets the audience debate about philosophical questions related to current event. Additionally, Sandel has appeared on “The Colbert Report,” “Today Show,” “Morning Joe” and “Charlie Rose.”

The lecture series is named in memory of UT alumnus Edward Shapiro, who retired from his alma mater in 1989. He was an economics professor for 22 years at the University and donated more than $4 million to the UT College of Arts and Sciences during his lifetime.

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