Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics: Integration & Common Research Projects

Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics: Integration & Common Research Projects

Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics: Integration & Common Research Projects

Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics: Integration & Common Research Projects

Synopsis

This volume brings together distinguished philosophers with interdisciplinary expertise to show how the resources of philosophy can be employed in the tasks of evaluating economics and fostering policy debates. Contributors offer analyses of basic ideas in economics, such as the notion of efficiency, "economic man", incentives, self-interest, and utility maximization. They discuss key concepts in political theory such as desert, compensation, autonomy, equality, consent or fairness. The book then offers examples of how philosophical resources can be applied to specific, timely debates, such as discrimination, affirmative action, and ethical considerations in Social Security. These applications demonstrate how philosophy, politics, and economics can be fruitfully combined, while the more theoretical chapters clarify fundamental relationships across these related disciplines. Ultimately, the text guides students and scholars in expanding their perspectives as they approach the necessarily complex research questions of today and tomorrow.

Excerpt

As is well-known, the study of philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE) as a combined discipline originated at Oxford University in the first part of the twentieth century, although at Oxford it represented not so much an integration of the three fields as a curriculum that drew on all three. In recent years the number of undergraduate PPE degree programs has increased, and a journal is now devoted to the field. Questions remain, however, as to the characteristics of PPE. Consider two broad understandings. From one view, we are witnessing the rise of a new discipline or perhaps the resurrection of the nineteenth century discipline of political economy. In 1821 James Mill, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, and Robert Torrens founded the London Political Economy Club. In 1825 the Drummand Chair of Political Economy was founded at Oxford, which required occupants, such as Nassau Senior, to give a series of lectures. The first economics department in Britain was funded at University College London; John Ramsey McCulloch occupied . . .

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