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Courses - Spring 2022
PHPE
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
PHPE308B
Special Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; The Wisdom of Crowds
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHPE350
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) ecosystem is vast and complex and consists of public, private, and nonprofit sectors engaged in shaping the world around them. Each sector within this ecosystem has its own theory of change and plays a specific role in the broader impact space. As you seek to become a PPE professional, it is essential to develop a deeper understanding of this ecosystem, the different levers of influence within it, and the intra-relationship between the sectors. This course introduces you to the PPE landscape so that by learning about it and you are better equipped to find your place within it.
The impact ecosystem is vast and complex and consists of public, private, and nonprofit sectors engaged in shaping the world around them. Each sector within this ecosystem has its own theory of change and plays a specific role in the broader impact space. As you seek to become a purposeful professional, it is essential to develop a deeper understanding of this ecosystem, the different levers of influence within it, and the intra-relationship between the sectors. This course introduces you to both the impact landscape and working professionals. Through lectures, guest visits, and hands-on projects you come away better equipped to find your place within the impact ecosystem.
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.
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?
Credit only granted for PHPE401 or GVPT449E.
PHPE402
Senior Capstone in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Restriction: Must be in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major; and must have senior standing.
Senior capstone course for the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major. The exact content of the course will be determined by the instructor who teaches it. The purpose of the course is to pursue sustained inquiry on a narrow philosophical topic, using the tools and methods from economics and political science to help analyze the topic. The course ends with a substantial research paper, where the student should demonstrate an ability to use the tools of philosophy, political science, and economics in his or her analysis.
PHPE408A
Advanced Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; The Philosophy of Aristotle
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
PHPE408C
Advanced Topics in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Cross-listed with PHIL428C. Credit only granted for PHIL428C or PHPE408C.

Confucius (551-479 BC) and Socrates (c. 470-399 BC) are similar in many ways: They both devoted their lives to thinking about ethics and politics, had numerous disciples and followers, but left us with no writings unquestionably of their own. Despite these similarities, the East Asian Confucian tradition and the Western Socratic tradition turn out to be vastly different from each other regarding their views of human, society, and politics. Understanding the similarities and differences between Confucius and Socrates 2500 years ago helps us understand those between East and West today. To this purpose, we read and discuss the ethical, social, and political thoughts that their respective disciples have attributed to them as well as the thoughts of their opponents.