|Assignments||First paper topics,
second paper topics.
|Class notes||Our perspectives on each session.|
|Contact||How to get in touch with Eleanor Brown or Michael Green.|
|Grades||Qualitative and quantitative explanations of what grades mean.|
|Sakai||Use Sakai for announcements, due dates, the roster, and e-reserve readings.|
|Syllabus||The plan for each session in glorious PDF. Updated September 27.|
|Writing||Michael Green’s advice about philosophy papers. Worth every penny it costs to click.|
This course uses the three disciplines of the PPE major, philosophy, politics and economics, to describe the liberties and safeguards that promote human flourishing and to look at the roles played by market economies and political institutions in the construction of contemporary society.
One of our themes will be the tension between freedom, as exemplified in economic markets, and equality, as exemplified by government action to alter unequal market outcomes. A second theme is institutional roles. What aspects of life are best handled through markets, by government, or in the sphere of personal relations? A third line of inquiry explores human well-being. Is it a subjective matter of getting what we want, whatever that may be, or are there objective standards of the good life? What light do empirical studies of happiness throw on the nature of well-being and the policies that best promote it?
One purpose of the course is to develop cross-disciplinary thinking and analysis. Specifically, the course is designed to prepare PPE majors to write a senior thesis that brings the insights of abstract and wide-ranging scholarship to bear on issues of public policy. With this in mind, we turn to one of the richest areas of contemporary domestic policy debate, the provision of health care. In this part of the course, we will read a Politea prize-winning thesis and talk about how to write one of your own.