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Courses - Fall 2021
PHPE
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
PHPE308B
Special Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Supreme Law: The Constitution, Morality and the Courts
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Credit only granted for PHPE308B or PHIL338J.
PHPE308E
Special Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Political Epistemology
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHPE400
Individual and Group Decision-Making
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Foundational issues that arise within the theories of rational choice that underlie the treatments of decision-making found in economics, politics, and the other social sciences. The course is focused on individual decisions (rational choice theory), strategic decisions (game theory) and group decisions (social choice theory). In addition to presenting the formal models of decision making, we also discuss to what extent these mathematical theories explain social interactions. An important aspect of the course is to introduce students to the ways in which economic analysis has been applied to issues in social and political philosophy. Readings will be drawn from the literature in economics, psychology, statistics and political science, as well as philosophy.
Credit granted for PHPE400 or GVPT449D.
PHPE401
Social Philosophy and Political Economy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Examines capitalism and socialism as differing modes of economic production through several different theoretical lenses. We begin by examining capitalism and socialism as they developed historically, by looking primarily at the work of Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Then, we turn our attention to one of the most important debates in 20th century economics: to what extent rational economic calculation is possible in a socialist commonwealth. After this we turn our attention to how capitalist and socialist modes of production functioned in practice. We end by turning our attention to the ethics of capitalism and socialism: which mode of economic production is most just?
PHPE408D
Advanced Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Theories of Democracy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Cross-listed with PHIL408D. Credit only granted for PHPE408D or PHIL408D.

Many think that democracy is the only acceptable form of government, but it is hard to articulate why. This course will look at normative arguments in defense of democracy. It will also look at criticisms of these arguments, along with normative arguments in favor of non-democratic forms of government. The course will also look at theoretical and empirical work concerning how democracies actually function in the real world (e.g., the median voter theorem, the Hong-Page theorem, McKelvey Schofield chaos theorem, etc.), and ask how this theoretical and empirical work should inform our normative arguments for democracy.
PHPE408E
Advanced Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; The Ethics of Markets
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Cross-listed with PHIL408E. Credit only granted for PHPE408E or PHIL408E.

Markets are pervasive throughout our lives, but we rarely think about them from an ethical perspective. This course examines questions at the intersection of ethics and markets. It asks questions like: what is the extent of permissible market exchange? What sorts of things can be bought and sold on the market? Do markets corrupt our morals? Do markets presuppose certain morals? Does trade between nations lead to tolerance? What are the social responsibilities of business?
PHPE408J
Advanced Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; The Philosophy of Plato
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Credit only granted for PHPE408J or PHIL412.