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You have £2000, I have a kidney

Glen Newey: Morals and Markets, 21 June 2012

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets 
by Michael Sandel.
Allen Lane, 244 pp., £20, April 2012, 978 1 84614 471 4
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How Much Is Enough?: The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life 
by Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky.
Allen Lane, 256 pp., £20, June 2012, 978 1 84614 448 6
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... Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy does for the market what the London Dungeon does for urban history. It’s a compendium of horror stories arising from what one might call the ryanairation of social life, the breakdown of once cash-free practices into severally billable units of account. Capitol Hill lobbying outfits now pay queuing firms to stand in line, sometimes overnight, so that the lobbyists can step in just before a committee session starts; ‘concierge’ medical companies offer queue-jumping treatment to those willing to stump up the fees ...

The Right Stuff

Alan Ryan, 24 November 1994

The Principle of Duty 
by David Selbourne.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 288 pp., £17.99, June 1994, 1 85619 474 4
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... and an enemy of the Enlightenment, though he has changed his positive allegiances a good deal; Michael Sandel, like Charles Taylor and Pope John Paul II, makes a great thing of ‘identity’. They stress the difference between the way we are ‘constituted’ by our membership in a variety of communities and the ‘abstract’ individuals that ...

The Contingency of Community

Richard Rorty, 24 July 1986

... I want to take up some comments on Berlin’s essay by an acute critic of the liberal tradition, Michael Sandel. Berlin ‘comes perilously close to foundering on the relativist predicament’: If one’s convictions are only relatively valid, why stand for them unflinchingly? In a tragically configured moral universe, such as Berlin assumes, is the ...

By the Roots

Jeremy Waldron, 9 February 1995

The Anatomy of Anti-Liberalism 
by Stephen Holmes.
Harvard, 330 pp., £23.95, November 1993, 0 674 03180 6
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... in the Anatomy presumably to remind us that when modern anti-liberals like Alasdair MacIntyre or Michael Sandel talk of the rootlessness of the liberal individual and his lack of ‘constitutive attachments’, they are using language redolent of earlier attacks on ‘rootless’ and ‘cosmopolitan’ Jews. Holmes insists he is not saying that ...

Posties

Richard Rorty, 3 September 1987

Der Philosophische Diskurs der Moderne: Zwölf Vorlesungen 
by Jürgen Habermas.
Suhrkamp, 302 pp., £54, February 1985, 3 518 57702 6
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... common to Marxists and Straussians, as well as to such recent writers as Wolin, Bellah and Sandel. He stands with Popper, Berlin, Rawls and Dewey in his devotion to old-fashioned social-democratic liberalism. But he still calls himself a Marxist, and still believes that democratic hopes have been frustrated by the tendencies within capitalism which ...

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