The Hubris Of Michael Sandel 

In “Tiranny Of Meritocracy” Michael Sandel cleverly omits the discussion on whether Tenure is philosophically moral.

Sandel is Tenured by merit. Should Sandel teach a brilliant student, much better than himself, what Sandel is now arguing is that the better one be set aside.

Sanders defends an anti meritocratic system now that he is Tenured.

Sandel divides the world in winners (himself) and losers (his brilliant student).

“Meritocracy is divisive, it leads to hubris and humiliation for those that lose out. It leads to the lucky to look down to the less fortune. 

The meritocratic forget they were lucky, and most people are not”.

I have never seen Paul McCartney look down on his fans, just the contrary.

He may have been lucky in finding a friend called John, but the was a lot of hard work from there on. 

Sandel’s bio at his Harvard page is hubris squared.

“His writings have been translated into 27 languages. 

His course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television.  

It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China.

Sandel was named the “most influential foreign figure of the year.” (China Newsweek)

In 2018, he received the Princess of Asturias Award in Social Sciences, presented by the King of Spain”, not for his looks but merit.

“He was president of his senior class at Palisades High School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa”, not for his looks but his merit.

“He received his doctorate from Balliol College, Oxford in 1985, as a Rhodes Scholar”,  not for his looks but merit.

“Sandel has been a pioneer in the use of new technology to promote global public.”

From his press bio

“He has been described as “the most relevant living philosopher,” a “rock-star moralist,” (Newsweek) and “currently the most popular professor in the world.” (Die Zeit)

“A spellbinding philosopher…Sandel is calling for nothing less than a reinvigoration of citizenship…. That Sandel has managed to elevate the conversation is a miraculous achievement.” (The Nation)”

If this is not hubris, rock star, miraculous, spellbinding, 27 languages what is?

Michael Sandel let me tell you a secret about hubris.

The secret of life is not to showing off yours achievements, but making friends from the work you have done.

So long. 



14 Responses

    1. Dica, pode usar o Google Tradutor, tanto no Chrome quanto no Edge tem opção de tradução também

  1. Porca miséria! Tive a oportunidade de ler trechos deste livro traduzido para o português. Fala-se em mudança de paradigma. Acontece que o que o autor prega não corresponde à sua própria realidade de profissional bem sucedido. É possível aplicar o argumentum ad hominem aqui.

  2. Having read the book, I captured a different angle from Mr. Sandel’s criticism of meritocracy. To me, he doesn’t seem to be against meritocracy. He even devotes part of the book to explaining why meritocracy is essential as a criterion to promote justice and prevent discrimination.

    My understanding of his criticism comes from when meritocracy supersedes all other considerations to explain the inequalities, success and failures.

    I tell my children to be grateful and maximize all available resources – high-quality education, good economic conditions, good health, and an influential social environment. They should study hard, put all their efforts into being their best and sacrifice present pleasures to endure a promising future. I think it is a piece of good and ethical advice. Mr. Sandel seems to agree with it, but he says it can drive a perverse logic.

    It tends to lead the winners to believe they succeeded because of their hard work, sacrifice, and efforts and to over discount their departure point – quality education, high income, good networking, etc. Some losers are far behind not because they didn’t study or work hard but because they started far back on track. They had poor education and health, poor economic conditions, and their social ladder was a lot higher. For most of them, even if they try hard, only very few will achieve mobility upwards. Merit is one element of the many variables in the success equation, but not even the strongest.

    For Mr. Sandel, this logic leads to an even more perverse corollary. When winners overvalue their efforts and over discount their starting conditions, they may see a loser with disregard, as if the loser had not tried hard enough deserving to be where they are.

    I can’t say I totally agree with the argument. But I must say that after reading the book, I reflected more on my conditions, others’ conditions, and how I perceived merit and success.

  3. A meritocracia é que impulsiona o progresso.
    Através da meritocracia temos a motivação para realizar e viver.
    A meritocracia tem que nos conduzir a humildade sem a qual,
    perdemos toda a essência do ser e nos sentiremos deuses que
    nos transformaram em verdadeiros tiranos.

  4. todos os seres vivos ( conferi um x um ) sao programados a priorizar incentivos, os que podem ser de qualquer ordem e origem, e podem produzir condutas muito diferentes ante os mesmos incentivos, pois cada um de nos, embora com caracteristicas semelhantes, eh unico e diferente.

    isso eh da nossa natureza, tal como exemplificado na fabula do escorpiao e o sapo. qualquer sistema ou ideal que vai contra a nossa natureza, a longo prazo esta fadado ao fracaso, garantido, e muitas vezes nem tao longo prazo.

    para muitos de nos, o merito de atingir um proposito pelo nosso esforco eh um valor moral, e se alguem dizer que esse conceito nao tem validade, este alguem passa a ser irrelevante como opiniao.

  5. Acho que não ficou claro oposto da meritrocacia! Sem mérito o que fica no lugar? Porém a Soberba da meritocracia pode invalidar os resultados… quem tem mais capacidade e o mérito para fazer mais, tem que ter a humildade de beneficiar a sociedade com seu exemplo e não ficar se vangloriando de seus feitos! Em outras palavras o mérito somente existe com a intenção de ajudar a sociedade e não do ganho pessoal.

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