• 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
  • Course convener
    • Prof Brian Hedden
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

The approach taken in this course is at two levels. One level involves direct conceptual analysis of the differences in disciplinary approaches. The other level involves illustrating those differences by reference to specific examples in contemporary policy/institutional analysis. Topics such as global warming (and environmental issues more generally), inequality, dealing with risk and uncertainty, and commodification 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:

  1. demonstrate a working knowledge of key terms, concepts, and ideas in the study of PPE;
  2. think about and discuss puzzles in the social sciences and public policy;
  3. apply the skills learned on the course to new areas; and
  4. think, write, and argue about social issues demonstrating a well-rounded understanding of the issue.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Tutorial assignments, 5x400 words each (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Take-home end-of-semester examination, 2 responses of 1250 words each (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 35 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 11 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 95 hours of independent student research, reading, and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and have completed 42 units of 1000 level courses towards that program including POLS1008.

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: 

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. 2009. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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.

Preliminary Reading

Robert Frank (2011). The Darwin Economy.

Daniel Halliday (2018) The Inheritance of Wealth.

Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler (2008). Nudge.

John Broome (2012). Climate Matters.

Elizabeth Anderson (2000). "What is the Point of Equality?"

Debra Satz (2010). Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
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
7334 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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