PHIL 004. Introduction to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Oxford university initiated an interdisciplinary program in PPE in the 1920s. Since then, several dozen colleges and universities throughout the world have established diverse versions of PPE. However different, all share the aim of providing an interdisciplinary education of integrating historical and contemporary thought prominent in philosophy, politic theory, and economics. This course is a gateway to a minor in PPE*. It is open to all students, without prerequisite and whether or not they wish to pursue a minor in the field. Priority, however, will be given to first and second year students.
The course will introduce you to some leading thinkers of the past relevant to PPE (e.g., Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Smith, Marx, Mill, Hobhouse), those of the more recent past (e.g., Keynes, Hayek, Friedman, and Rawls) as well as those of today (e.g., Sen, Kahneman, Hausman, MacIntyre, Raz, Schwartz). Methodological matters will be explored (e.g., rational choice, Prisoner Dilemmas, cost-benefit/cost-effectiveness, methodological individualism/holism) as well as normative matters that involve freedom, justice, and equality as these occur in political and legal contexts, and some of their implications for public policy.
* The Faculty has not yet approved a minor in PPE. If it does, this course will be approved as part of the minor. In any case, it counts as a first course in Philosophy.
Prerequisite: Freshmen require an AP score of 4 or 5 in ECON or take an ECON course simultaneously with this course.
Fall 2017. Oberdiek.
Fall 2018. Thomason.
Catalog chapter: Philosophy
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/philosophy