10:00 am EST - 12:00 am EST

Past Event

Public Philosophy: Why Morality Matters in Politics

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

10:00 am - 12:00 am EST

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Root Room

1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

E. J. Dionne, a Brookings senior fellow, will moderate a discussion on what role morality plays in today’s politics. Michael Sandel, author of Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics (Harvard University Press, 2005), and fellow journalists George Stephanopoulos and Charles Krauthammer will join Dionne in a lively debate of Sandel’s book and the hot button political and moral issues that have challenged the government.

In his book, Sandel argues that the most prominent ideals in our political life–individual rights and freedom of choice–do not by themselves provide an adequate ethic for a democratic society. Sandel calls for a new definition of politics, one that is characterized by a greater emphasis on citizenship, community, and civic virtue, and that grapples more directly with questions of the good life. He delves into a wide range of controversial issues including affirmative action, assisted suicide, abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, the meaning of toleration and civility, the gap between rich and poor, the role of markets, and the place of religion in public life. Stephanopoulos and Krauthammer will provide additional commentary on Sandel’s approach.

Following remarks, panelists will take audience questions.