POLS 047. Ethics and Economics
The discipline of economics has a huge influence in today’s world, but from a philosophical perspective its fundamental presuppositions are extremely controversial. This course aims to shed light on those presuppositions by drawing on writings from philosophers, sociologists, political scientists and historians as well as economists themselves. We begin by assessing its claim to moral and political neutrality, focusing in particular on efficiency, GNP, and rational choice. Next we consider three of its basic concepts: money, property and markets. What exactly is money? What justifies private ownership? And should some things simply never be for sale? In the final part of the course we inquire into how the two central questions of ethics – What ought I to do? And what is the good life? – bear on our assessment of production and consumption.
Catalog chapter: Political Science
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/political-science
Check the Fall 2020 Schedule of Courses
Check the Spring 2021 Schedule of Courses