Summary of The Lost Art of Democratic Debate

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The Lost Art of Democratic Debate summary
America needs a refresher course in democratic debate.


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Moral and religious beliefs rarely surface in political debates, but Harvard professor Michael Sandel avers that they should. If you’re seeking to hone your debating skills, philosophical acumen and higher reasoning, getAbstract suggests taking a seat for this Aristotelian lecture.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Americans avoid or omit religious and moral beliefs in political debates,
  • Why these convictions belong in the foreground, and
  • What considerations apply when determining rightful distribution of a good or activity.


Democratic debate has become a “lost art.” Underlying America’s heated, often shouted disputes about health care, income inequality, executive bonuses and Wall Street bailouts are questions about what is good or right, and what is just. The Greek philosopher Aristotle described justice as “giving people...
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About the Speaker

Michael Sandel is a political philosophy professor at Harvard University.

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