For a man who has been dubbed by the US media the world’s first “moral rock star”, it was a modest showing ”“ a mere 5,000 Indians had gathered to hear him. Compared with the 14,000 he had drawn to an open-air sports stadium in South Korea a few weeks before, or the 30m hits he has received for his online lectures in China alone, it was small chapattis. But the lecture, which Sandel staged as a kind of Socratic dialogue with his audience, held everyone spellbound.
Coming from solid middle class background and raised in Minnesota and Los Angeles, Sandel studied at Brandeis University and then got a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, where he discovered his passion for moral philosophy. He never looked back. He has taught at Harvard for most of his adult life and lives with his wife and two sons in Brookline, Massachusetts, just outside Boston.
The philosopher made his reputation in 1982 with his debut book, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, a powerful critique of John Rawls’s “veil of ignorance”….