The PPEL major aims not simply at breadth of knowledge, but detailed understanding. To do this the major is composed of 45 units.
In their first and second years of university study, potential PPEL majors must complete four courses of disciplinary study.
ECON 205: The Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation (3 units)
The study the ethics and the economics of such phenomena as market competition, institutions of private and public property, trade restrictions, globalization, and corporate welfare.
PHIL 210: Moral Thinking (3 units)
What does it mean to "do the right thing?" and how do we decide what is the right thing to do? This course surveys the different ways that these questions have been answered, using both historical and contemporary sources.
PHIL 250: The Social Contract (3 units)
The moral requirements of social life and social cooperation, and the nature of a just social and economic order. Among others, the course considers the classical theories of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, as well as contemporary theories such as that of John Rawls.
POL 206: Public Policy and Administration (3 units)
Theory and practice of executive agencies, including policy making and other functions, processes, personnel and fiscal management, and administrative law.
Students admitted to the PPEL major are required to take PPEL 301, 310, 320, 326, 330, 340 and 496. PPEL 496 cannot be taken until the senior year.
The PPEL program guarantees course and place availability, allowing all students to complete the core in their third and fourth years of university study. Except with special permission, only students who have completed their disciplinary foundation courses can enroll in the core courses.
PPEL 310 (3 units) Economic Analyses in Philosophy and Politics
This course introduces students to the ways in which economic analysis has been applied to issues in social philosophy and the study of politics; it analyzes the ways in which tools from economics have been applied to the problems of social and political theory. Game theory, axiomatic social choice theory, and public choice theory are discussed.
PPEL 326 (3 units) Laws and Legal Theory
This writing-intensive course explores basic legal doctrine and legal theory in a central area of the law. In general, philosophical and/or economic analysis will be brought to bear on substantive areas of law. In a given semester, the course might focus on basic constitutional law and constitutional theory, basic property law and theory, the law of torts and tort theory, or criminal law and the philosophy of criminal law.
PPEL 330 (3 units) Democracy and Social Choice
Theories of democracy have been advanced by economists, political scientists, and philosophers. This course will consider these contrasting analyses, and the ways in which democracy constitutes a procedure of social choice.
PPEL 496 (3 units) Capstone Seminar
In their fourth year all PPEL students take a capstone seminar, of no more than 15 students. This seminar will be on a topic in philosophy, politics, economics, or law chosen by the faculty member, but the aim of all the seminars will be to bring the student's PPEL skills to bear on a problem or issue.
The third element of the PPEL major is one of six tracks that allow students to focus on an area of individual interest and of general importance. For each track the student must complete FOUR courses from the relevant list.
Students are premitted to devise their own tracks with the apporval of the Director. Honors students can substitute their thesis for 6 hours of track requirements.
PPEL 302 ( 3 units) The Philosophy of Economics
An introduction to the main philosophical questions raised in the study of economics. Is economics a science along the lines of natural science? Can there be a value free economics? Is economics necessarily individualistic? What is rationality? Are rational actor explanations causal explanations? And if most people are not rational most of the time, how does appeal to rational actors help explain real people?
Note: PPEL 302 may sometimes be offered as a substitute for PPEL 301 in years in which PPEL 301 is not taught.
PPEL 493 (1-3 units) Internship
Limited to PPEL majors with advanced standing. With the approval of the director, students may arrange an internship experience for credit towards the track requirment. This course may be taken ONCE only.
PPEL 499/PPEL499H Independent Study (3 units)
Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work.
philosophy, politics, economics & law
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