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Culture

MICHAEL J. SANDEL DEFENDER OF THE COMMON GOOD AND WINNER OF THE PRINCESS OF ASTURIAS AWARD

What money can’t buy or Justice: What’s the right thing to do? are two of the titles translated into Spanish of the work of the American philosopher Michael J. Sandel (Minneapolis, 1953), the new Princess of Asturias Award 2018 for Social Sciences among more than thirty candidates of sixteen nationalities.

Its thinking is based on the defense of a justice oriented towards the common good where governments can intervene to avoid the excesses of the market economy and social inequalities, for what is embedded as a communitarian, a current that emerged at the end of the 20th century contrary to individualist positions and liberals with whom, Sandel, is not very comfortable because he does not want to be seen as a moral relativist, as he has explained on different occasions, something that is sometimes implicit to community thinking.

For decades Michael Sandel taught the course Justice at Harvard University, which has become the program with the largest number of students in the history of the academic institution, more than 15,000 since the eighties.

The success of Sandel led Harvard to record it to offer it through the Internet and thus turn it into the first course of this university and spread it free of charge throughout its history.

Now, he teaches it at the Saunders Theater and the 1,117 possible seats are raffled at the beginning of the year given the high demand.

His classes were also converted into a television series and the book Justice: What’s the right thing to do?, which have been more than a million copies and in 2011 presented in Spain, edited by Debate.

Sandel warned in Spain that, in a democracy, voters are also responsible for the decisions of their rulers even if they do not agree with them because they confer the power to adopt them. (May 30, 2018, EFE/Practica Español)

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Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read and answer the questions)

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Question 1
La noticia habla...
A
de la persona que ganó el año pasado el Premio Princesa de Asturias de Ciencias Sociales.
B
del anuncio de los nominados al Premio Princesa de Asturias de Ciencias Sociales.
C
del ganador del último Premio Princesa de Asturias de Ciencias Sociales.
Question 2
Según el texto, Sandel...
A
está a favor de una justicia que defienda el bien común para evitar que se cometan abusos.
B
defiende un modelo de justicia que solo beneficie a las minorías.
C
nunca llegó a defender un modelo de justicia basado en lo que es bueno para una comunidad.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que...
A
Sandel descarta la posibilidad de alcanzar una justicia que limite los abusos de los mercados.
B
Sandel no tiene mucho interés en impartir unos cursos sobre la justicia.
C
Sandel lleva impartiendo un curso sobre la justicia desde hace años.
Question 4
Este pensador considera que...
A
los votantes no son responsables de las acciones de sus gobernantes.
B
los votantes son también responsables de las acciones de sus gobernantes.
C
los votantes apenas son responsables de lo que ocurra en su país.
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