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哈佛公开课 Justice

When we first came together some 13 weeks ago, I spoke of the exhilaration of political philosophy and also of its dangers. About how philosophy works and has always works by extranging us from the familiar by unsettling our settled assumptions. And I tried to warn you that once the familiar turns strange, once we begin to reflect on our circumstance, it’s never quite the same again. I hope you have by now experienced at least a little of this unease because this is the tension that animates critical reflection and political improvement and maybe even the moral life as well. And so our argument comes to an end, in a sense, but in another sense goes on. Why, we asked at the outset, why did these arguments keep going if they raise questions that are impossible ever, finally, to resolve? The reason is that we live some answer to these questions all the time. In our public life, and in our personal lives, philosophy is inescapable even if it sometimes seems impossible. We began with the thought of Kant, that skepticism is a resting place for human season. Where it can reflect upon its dogmatic wanderings, but it is no dwelling place for permanent settlement. To allow ourselves simply to acquiescence in skepticism or in complacence, Kant wrote, can never suffice to overcome the restlessness of reason. The aim of this course has been to awaken the restlessness of reason and to see where it might lead. And if we had done at least that, and if the restlessness continues to afflict you in the days and years to come, then we together have achieved no small thing.

Thank you

— Michael Sandel