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Market values solving our moral dilemmas?
Zehra Kazmi, Hindustan Times
Jaipur, January 26, 2013
First Published: 22:09 IST(26/1/2013)
Last Updated: 22:15 IST(26/1/2013)

If you were the head of a school, would you pay students money to study more and get better grades? At one of the most interactive sessions of the festival, presented by the Hindustan Times, "rockstar philosopher" Michael Sandel threw this and other thorny questions at the crowd.

Sandel seemed every inch the 'world's most prominent professor' -- a title he's earned for his course 'Justice' at Harvard University, which spawned a book and TV series. Talking about the role market values play in society today, he said, "In the past three decades, we have drifted from having market economies to becoming market societies, a place where everything is up for sale.

From paying children to write thank you notes to offering your body as advertising space - market values are everywhere, crowding out all other considerations.  His prescription: reconnect economics to moral and political philosophy. "Our public discourse is so hollow, so empty because we shrink from moral questions and when we do that, these questions do not remain undecided, the market decides them for us."


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