Phi 226 Social Ethics:


What's The Right Thing To Do?

With Professors Michael Sandel and Emile Piscitelli.

Professor Michael Sandel

Professor Emile Piscitelli

The Lectures on Line

How the course works:

1. The student comes to every class prepared for the lectures and discussions.

2. The student views the lectures once a week, reads the texts linked to the videos, and reads the accompanying chapter in the book, Justice by Michael Sandel. The book contains 10 Chapters while there are 12 Video Episodes. In addition the professor will assign reading from Philosophy A Passion For Wisdom each week.

3. The student writes a 250 word response to the video and the reading every week from week 2-13 (Twelve lectures). These one page single spaced papers are returned in class every week and shared by sending them through a class email to the professor and all students in the class.

The file format for the emailed response MUST BE THE FOLLOWING:

Last Name.episode number.doc For Example: Piscitelli.01.doc You must use Microsoft Word files. Do not use the .docx extention. It is not readable on all IBM-type computers. If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can create the document with Open Office and save it as a .doc file. To down load the Open Office software free Click Here! If you do not follow this format, you will not get credit for the response. (The Professor shall provide a template for the emails.) Late papers are not accepted and not counted for credit. The response MUST be emailed at least 24 hours before the class meeting or you will not get credit. The students must have time to read the responses before class. Each is worth 5% of the grade.

4. The student chooses a topic for a 3000 word (10-15 pages 10pt font) paper on Social Ethics (Justice) using one of the questions raised in the lectures, the readings, and/or the in class discussions. (Worth 40% of the grade)

The Political Community and the Dialectics of History

The Chapter requires a pass word.

Lectures and Discussions: Fall 2014

Lecture :1 Introduction

Lecture: 2


Lecture: 3

Lecture: 4

Lecture: 5

Lecture: 6

Lecture: 7

Lecture: 8

Lecture: 9

Lectures and Discussions From Prior Semesters

Click Here

Dates for Single Page Responses:

August 28

1. Episode One:

Reading: Mill Utilitarianism

Justice, Chapter 1:

Doing the Right Thing

Conversation Partner/s:

September 4

2. Episode Two:


Utilitarianism By J.S. Mill

Justice, Chapter 2

The Greatest Happiness Principle:


Can The Middle Class Be Saved?

Conversation Partner/s:

September 11

3. Episode Three:

Justice, Chapter 3

Do We Own Ourselves:


Discussion I: Libertarian Philosophy

Conversation Partner/s:

September 18

4. Episode Four:


Justice, Chapter 4

Compare Locke's Idea of Reason with the Classical View: E. Voegelin' s Articles

Hired Help: Markets and Morals

Conversation Partner/s:

September 25

5. Episode Five


Justice, Chapter 5

Democracy And Its Discontents:

A Selection from Michael Sandel's Book

Topic: Education to Civil Virtue and the Vision of the Good Life in Ethics.

Conversation Partner/s:

October 2

6. Episode Six


Justice, Chapter 6

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Influence on Kant:

Feeling Over Enlightenment Reason

What Matters Is the Motive: Kant

Conversation Partner/s:

October 9

7. Episode Seven



The Case For Equality: John Rawls

Justice, Chapter 7

Conversation Partner/s:

October 16

R.G. Collingwood: Podcast

Reading Day

No Class

Research For Final Paper

October 23

Rawls: Liberal Egalitarianism

Proposal For Final Paper Due In Class and Emailed to the Class Members

October 30

8. Episode Eight

Arguing Affirmative Action

Justice, Chapter 8

Conversation Partner/s:

November 6

Who Deserves What: Aristotle

9. Episode Nine




Justice, Chapter 9

What Do We Owe One Another: Dilemmas of Loyalty

Conversation Partner/s:

November 13

10. Episode Ten


Justice, Chapter 10

Justice And The Common Good

Philosophy Bytes On Machiavelli

Conversation Partner/s:

November 20

11. Episode Eleven:


An Explanation of Lonergan's Theory of the Modern Economy

Conversation Partner/s:

November 27

Thanksgiving Fall Break

December 4

12. Episode Twelve


Aristotle On Akrasia

Conversation Partner/s:

Term Paper Due

Final Examination Meeting

Room CM 222

Lectures & Discussions From Spring 2011 Semester

Episode 1:

Justice, Chapter 1:

Doing the Right Thing

Discussion I:

Didcussion II:

Methodological Disagreements

Justice, Chapter 2

Episode 2:

The Greatest Happiness Principle:


Can The Middle Class Be Saved?

Episode 3:

Discussion I:

Discussion I: Libertarian Philosophy

Discussion I: Libertarian Philosophy

Colbert Report

Episode 4

Hired Help: Markets and Morals

Class Lecture and Discussion

Justice, Chapter 5

Class Discussion

Episode 6

The Case For Equality: John Rawls

Class Lecture: Background to Kant

Class Discussion:I

Class Discussion:II


Rawls: Liberal Egalitarianism
Lecture & Discussion:Rawls etc. I

Lecture & Discussion: Rawls etc. II

Episode 7

Justice, Chapter 7

Class Discussion

Episode 8

Arguing Affirmative Action

Justice, Chapter 8

Occupy Wall Street: A Question of Social Justice?


Class Discussion:I

Class Discussion:II

Episode 9

Lecture: The Good & The Right?

Class Discussion:I

Class Discussion:II

Episode 10

Justice And The Common Good

Selection I: From Discussion of Common Good

Selection II: From Discussion of Common Good

Episode 11

Loyalty & Universal Moral Principles

Episode 12

Last Lecture I: Gay Marriage, Pluralism, & Good vs Right

Last Lecture II: Gay Marriage, Pluralism, & Good vs Right

The Original Lectures on Justice Given At Harvard (2006) in MP3 Files
























Professor Sandel's Reith Lectures 2010

Politics of the Common Good

Reith Lectures: One

Reith Lectures: Two

Reith Lectures: Three

Reith Lectures: Four

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Read by Librivox

Book I

Book II

Book III

Book IV

Book V

Book VI

Book VII


Book IX

Book X

Kant's Metaphysical Principles of Morals: A Librivox Reading

Book I

Book II

Book III

Book IV

Book V

Book VI


Lonergan On the Economy

Lonergan's Critique of Capitalist Ideological Interpretation of the Modern Economy in a Civil Society by Professor Fred Lawrence

Supplementary Readings on Line:

1. J. Bentham On Ultility

2. J. Locke Second Treatise on Government

3. I. Kant on the Principles of Morals

4. J. Rawls On Justice Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

5. Plato's Republic

6. Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics

7. Aristotle on Akrasia

8. Josiah Royce: Philosophy of Loyalty

Course Requirements:

  1. Class Attendance: Every class missed = Minus .05 off your grade.
  2. 12 One page 250 word reflections on the videos and the reading. Minimum 3000 words in 12 weeks. 5% each = 60%
  3. Final 3000 Word Term Paper (10-15 pages 10 pt font) on a Topic dealt with in the videos, the readings, and the class discussions. Delivered in person at the final exam date and emailed to the members of the class by the deadline. (Using the template with the email addresses for the class email). 40% of the grade.

Required Texts:

1. Justice:What's the Right Thing To Do? Michael Sandel, Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux, 2009

2. Philosophy A Passion For Wisdom, Emile J. Piscitelli, PublishAmerica 2010

The latter can be purchased direct from the Publisher: Click Here.

Course Information

Classroom: CM 124
Office: CM 374 Office Phone: 323-3356: Leave Message & Call-back

Office Hours: Right After Class


Final Exam Schedule

Email Addresses Template:

Select and Copy into Your Email at the "Send To" Section of Your Email Software :,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,