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Instructor: Luc Bovens. This course meets T 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. via remote synchronous (RS) instruction.

CORE Economics is a project initiated by Wendy Carlin and Samuel Bowles to renew economics teaching with the aim of making it more applicable to real-life issues. The project has received worldwide recognition. One part of the project is the online textbook “Economy, Society, and Public Policy” which is geared toward non-econ majors. Harvard political scientist Danielle Allen made it her new year’s resolution to read the book [Link] in a reading group organized by David Brancacio of Marketplace [Link]. Core Economics is an evolving project with an active and supportive community of CORE teachers and researchers around the world.

The textbook is rich and varied in content. It addresses policy issues such as inequality, climate change, and the future of work; philosophical concepts such as fairness, efficiency, well-being, democracy, and power; and standard topics in economics such as the operation of markets for goods and labor, strategic interaction (as modeled in game-theory), and market successes and failures.

This course is a thoroughly interdisciplinary course. We will do philosophically informed readings of chapters 1-8 and 11-12 along with some other relevant materials in CORE Economics. The course will provide you with core knowledge in PPE and in Philosophy and Public Policy, and it will prepare you to teach undergraduate courses in curricula for Philosophy, as well as for Political Science, Business, Public Policy, and PPE programs.

Course requirements are being up to date with the reading for each class, active participation in class, and a final term paper.  With the appropriate choice of topic for presentation to the class and for the final term paper, the course can satisfy the Logic and Philosophy of Science distribution requirement and the Value Theory Requirement. The requirement satisfaction for each student (either Logic and Philosophy of Science or Value Theory) will be communicated to the DGS at the end of the semester.


There is an optional workshop that will introduce you to data analysis in data visualization through the exercises in CORE “Doing Economics”. We will be using tutorials from DataCamp to support our learning.

PHIL graduate students: Please refer to our Handbook (page 6, #9) for information regarding distribution requirements.

Permission of the instructor is required to enroll in this course. PHIL grad students are exempt from this enrollment requirement.