OVIEDO, Spain – American political philosopher and Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel has been awarded the prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for his contribution to social sciences, the Spanish foundation announced on Wednesday.
Sandel, 65, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a renowned figure in communitarian theory, which challenges some individualistic and liberal currents of philosophy by emphasizing the role community relationships have forming an individual.
“His line of philosophical thinking consists in advocating justice that serves the common good, in which governments can intervene to avoid the excesses of the market economy and social inequalities,” read a statement from the Princess of Asturias Foundation.
“His thoughts in this respect have been set out in the following books, translated into 23 languages,” it added of the author behind several publications, including Democracy’s Discontent (1996) and Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics (2005).
At Harvard University, Sandel’s course, entitled “Justice,” is so popular that the seats in the auditorium must be raffled off to students at the beginning of each academic year.
Many of his lectures have also been digitalized and made available for free online.