Michael Sandel, philosopher

Michael Sandel is a political philosopher and professor of government theory at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has also presented the BBC Radio 4 series The Public Philosopher and The Global Philosopher, in which he examines the thinking behind a current controversy.

His books have tackled the idea of meritocracy and the moral limits of markets, and he has been described as a “philosopher with the global profile of a rock star.”

Michael grew up in Minnesota until the age of 13 when his family relocated to Los Angeles. As a boy he was fascinated by politics and he invited Ronald Reagan, who was then governor of California, to take part in a debate at his school.

During his university studies he took an internship at the Houston Chronicle and covered the Watergate scandal, sitting in on the Supreme court deliberations and subsequent impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill. Later, while he was studying as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University he was, as he puts it, “seduced by philosophy”.

Justice, the course he devised at Harvard, is one of the most popular in the university’s history – thousands of students apply to attend in person and tens of millions watch his classes online.

DISC ONE: Feeling Good by Nina Simone
DISC TWO: Only a Pawn in Their Game by Bob Dylan
DISC THREE: Battle Hymn of the Republic by Odetta
DISC FOUR: Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday
DISC FIVE: Alexander Hamilton by Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
DISC SIX: Anthem by Leonard Cohen
DISC SEVEN: The Stars Will Sing To You by Kiku Adatto
DISC EIGHT: America the Beautiful by Ray Charles

BOOK CHOICE: The Collected Dialogues of Plato
LUXURY ITEM: Binoculars
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Stars Will Sing To You by Kiku Adatto

Presenter Lauren Laverne
Producer Paula McGinley