IDST 190.001 – Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

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Instructors: Luc Bovens, Douglas MacKay, and Brian McManus. This course meets MW 9:05 – 9:55 a.m. in PH 265, with a recitation on Fridays.

This interdisciplinary course provides an overview of some core conceptual tools used to analyze issues at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE). It introduces students to the tools of economic analysis, including markets, prices, economic efficiency, welfare measures, and market failures. It discusses the philosophical dimensions of economics and public policy, including discussion of the nature of utility or well-being, the ethics of the price system, the value of individual liberty, and the nature of socio-economic justice. It also introduces students to the tools of political or institutional analysis, including game theory and public choice. This collection of tools, which are often employed in isolation, gain considerable power when they are brought together. Students will read widely on PPE tools, and they will explore applications to contemporary social problems. Lectures and recitations will feature a mix of traditional lectures, group work and discussions, simulations, and strategy games.

This course’s economics content is targeted to students who have not yet taken ECON 101, PLCY 310, or PLCY 340.

With a Tar Heel Tracker adjustment, this course may be used to fulfill the gateway requirement in the PPE minor (PHIL/POLI/ECON 384).

IDST 190.001 is one of the new Ideas, Information, and Inquiry courses (“triple I” for short; III), which are a brand-new kind of course at Carolina, designed specifically for first-year students. Each course brings together three outstanding professors from different departments in the College so that you can study of a common theme from several perspectives. The course offers a unique chance for you to explore the different ways our university’s top scholars and teachers investigate big questions, while also building key skills you’ll use over the rest of your time at Carolina and beyond.

To learn more about III, please see here.