• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy, Economics, Ethics, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

The approach taken in this specific course is at two levels. One level involves direct conceptual analysis of the differences in disciplinary approaches. The other involves illustrating those differences by reference to specific examples in contemporary policy/institutional analysis. Topics like global warming (and environmental issues more generally); discounting the future; dealing with risk and uncertainty; the 'global financial crisis'; public debt; population etc. will be used to examine and contrast what philosophers and economists have said about the issues and attempt an intellectually respectable synthesis. In each case, the role of 'political elements' will be an important part of the story - both substantively, in terms of what the expected role of political institutions might be and what political constraints may be relevant; and conceptually, in terms of the different understanding of political process that philosophers and economists tend to have.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of key terms, concepts and ideas in the study of PPE
  2. Demonstrate an ability to think about and discuss puzzles in the social sciences and public policy
  3. Demonstrate an ability to apply the skills learned on the course to new areas
  4. Think, write and argue about social issues demonstrating a well-rounded understanding of the issue

Indicative Assessment

    Class participation 10% (LO 1-4)
    Tutorial assignments 30% (LO 1-4) 5 x 200-word summaries of readings for tutorials (students choose one week out of each fortnight to submit an assignment, starting from week 3)
    Take-home end-of-semester examination 60% (LO 1-4). 2 x 1000-word responses chosen from a list of approximately 12 questions. 10 days to complete.

    The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


    Weekly lectures plus tutorials

    130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
    a) 35 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 11 hours of tutorials.
    b) 95 hours of independent student research, technical exercises, reading and writing, supported by WATTLE recordings and lecture notes.

    Requisite and Incompatibility

    To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics and have completed 48 units towards that program.

    You will need to contact the School of Philosophy to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

    Prescribed Texts

    Weekly reading to support the tutorials and lectures will be made available electronically via the Wattle site. Some additional reading will be helpful in stimulating thinking along inter-disciplinary lines, including: 

    Brams, Steven J. and Taylor. Aland D. 1996. Fair Division: From Cake-Cuttinto Dispute Resolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Dowding, Keith. 2009. "What is Welfare and How Can We Measure It." Pp.511-539 in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics, edited by H.

    Kincaid and D. Ross. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Grofman, Bernard, Guillermo Owen, and Scott A. Feld. 1983. "Thirteen Theorems in Search of the Truth." Theory and Decision 15:261-278.

    List, Christian and Philip Pettit. 2002. "Aggregating Sets of Judgements: AnImpossibility Result." Economics and Philosophy 18:89-110.

    Nurmi, Hannu. 1999. Voting Paradoxes and How to Deal with Them. Berlin:Springer-Verlag.

    Olson, Mancur. 1965/1971. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

    Parfit, Derek. 1984. Reasons and Persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Riker, William H. and Peter C. Ordeshook. 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting." American Political Science Review 62:25-43.

    Preliminary Reading

    Brennan, Geoffrey et al. (2016) Philosophy, Politics and Economics: An Anthology;

    Hausman, Dan (1992) The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics;

    Reiss, Julian (2013) Philosophy of Economics: A Contemporary Introduction;

    Davies, Howard (2009) The Financial Crisis: Who is to Blame?;

    Ostrom, Elinor (1990) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action;

    Stern, Nicholas (2007) The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review;

    Elster, Jon (1985) Making Sense of Marx.


    Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

    If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

    Student Contribution Band:
    Unit value:
    6 units

    If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

    Units EFTSL
    6.00 0.12500
    Domestic fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2017 $2856
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2017 $4080
    Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

    Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

    ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

    The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
    Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

    Second Semester

    Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
    8421 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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