This is the gateway course for the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major. PPE is a major in political economy. Political economy is the integrated study of the relationships of government, political processes, property, production, markets, trade, and distribution from the standpoint of assessing these arrangements with respect to the interests and progress of humanity. It explores the relations between individual action and collective outcomes as they shape and are shaped by environmental conditions, institutions, social norms, ideologies, and strategic and communicative interaction, paying special attention to the consequences of these relations for politics, law and economic policies, aggregate economic outcomes, and justice and human welfare. Political economists often use formal tools such as game theory and rational choice theory, and analytic frameworks, such as prisoner’s dilemmas and principal-agent problems, to analyze these relations. This course will introduce students to these tools and frameworks, exploring their powers and limitations.
This is the capstone seminar for non-Honors seniors in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics concentration. The theme for this offering of PPE 400 is Global Justice and Empire. Colonialism is a topic that is often ignored by contemporary philosophers, which makes it ripe for exploration by curious minds! We will begin with the classical philosophical debate over whether British colonialism in India during the late 18th and 19th centuries was morally justified. We continue by considering whether America was and is a colonial power. We consider whether America uses its economic, military, and political power to control or influence other countries. We also consider whether America is an example of an internal colony. We consider whether the relationship between white and black Americans is best understood as one of colonizer and colonized.