Freedom, Markets, and Well-being Fall 2018

First Day


We have two aims:

  1. Doing some genuinely synthetic work in PPE. Specifically, we will focus on how economists and philosophers think about inequality.

  2. Preparing to write the thesis in the spring.

I gave out three documents concerning the thesis: a timetable for the 2018-2019 year, a thesis reader signature sheet, and a list of past thesis titles (the theses themselves are in the Philosophy Library in 208 Pearsons). These are available on Sakai.

Ideas for topics

We asked what you were thinking about and this is what you said. No one is committed to this; it’s just where we’re starting.

Jeremy was interested in whether we are less rational when we make transactions online than we would otherwise be.

Peter N. has been interested in punishment since he took the Philosophy of Law four years ago. (Go Peter!) Specifically, he’s interested in the relationship between punishment and utilitarianism and also the fact that punishment is rarely visible to the surrounding society.

Peter T. has been thinking about Rawls and a guaranteed income.

Jonah has technology on his mind. Genetic engineering or social credit in China are the specific things he has been thinking about.

Autumn is considering the morality of drug use or something conspiratorial about veganism.

Molly wants to work on domestic violence law.

Crystal is interested in literacy.

Diana has her eye on the politics and economics of detention centers for immigrants.

Zeke is thinking about looking at how local governments handle conservation and wildlife, specifically in the LA area.

Arthur is musing about the music industry.

Remy’s topic is education. He wonders whether there is a relationship between orienting our education system around students and deprecating the place of teachers.

Anikka is thinking about continuing her SURP on the economics of redistribution.

Kamyab is weighing the application of behavioral economics to Rawls’s arguments about what the parties in the original position would decide against a project on the nature of freedom as understood by conservative political groups.

Tommy would like to do something on sports, specifically football.

And with that, we’re off and running!