In the final episode of Harvard professor Michael Sandel's famous series of lectures on the philosophy of justice, he raises two questions. Is it necessary to reason about the good life in order to decide what rights people have and what is just? And if so, how is it possible to argue about the nature of the good life?
Students explore these questions with a discussion about the relation of law and morality, as played out in public controversies over same-sex marriage and abortion.
Sandel concludes the series by making the point that, in many cases, the law can't be neutral on hard moral questions. Engaging rather than avoiding the moral convictions of our fellow citizens may be the best way of seeking a just society.