PE-coded modules are multidisciplinary modules specially created for the programme, with the offering department marked by the suffix (“P” for Philosophy, “S” for Political Science, and “E” for Economics”). Queries about specific modules are thus best addressed to the relevant owning departments.
PE-recognized modules are modules that may be counted in lieu of a PE coded module (note that there are currently no modules in this category).
PE2101P Introduction to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (4MC)
This module will introduce students to PPE as a multidisciplinary endeavour, by showing them how social and political philosophy can be done in a way that is strongly informed by the findings of social science. The course will be organized around discussing a few specific issues – such as inequality, nudging, climate change, and the formation of the state. Analysing these issues will introduce students to the methods and results of philosophy, political science, and economics, and show how they could be integrated to better understand and tackle social and political phenomena.
PE3101P Decision Theory and Social Choice (4MC)
This course is an introduction to decision and social choice theory. The first half introduces the theory of expected utility, according to which rational actions maximise the probability of desirable consequences. The second half introduces utilitarianism, according to which the right action is one which maximises the satisfaction of desire for the population at large. Both theories are controversial for their highly quantitative nature, their demanding conception of rationality and rightness, their insensitivity to risk and inequality, their prioritization of ends over means, and their tenuous relationship to actual human behaviour and morality. These controversies are discussed.
PE3551P/S/E FASS Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) (4MC)
A UROP involves the student working with a supervisor, possibly in a team, on an existing research project. It has relevance to the student’s Major, and involves the application of subject knowledge, methodology and theory in reflection upon the research project. UROPs usually take place within FASS or ARI, possibly with other external involve international partners. All are assessed. They may be proposed by the supervisor or student and require the vetting and approval of the Specialization Department. All will be assessed by the Specialization Department (Philosophy/Political Science/Economics). (Note: The module is available on an ad hoc basis given the existence of relevant research projects. PPE students may access UROPs within their own specialization.)
PE4101P The Ethics and Politics of Nudging (5MC)
Nudge policy uses people’s cognitive biases to steer them towards decisions that they would have made if they were rational. This module takes an in-depth look at nudge policy, and the ethical and political issues surrounding it. We first review nudge policy and the psychological theories underpinning it. We then tackle issues such as: whether governments can identify a citizen’s true/rational preferences and help citizens satisfy them, whether nudges are manipulative or paternalistic, whether nudges violate principles of publicity and transparency, and what public choice analysis could tell us about nudge policy.
PE4102P Welfare and Distribution (5MC)
What makes a good life? This module aims to examine different theories of welfare (or wellbeing) as they appear in economics and philosophy, and related concerns pertaining to the distribution and measurement of the goods possessed by members of society. Topics covered might include: theories of wellbeing, cost-benefit analysis and its ethical assumptions, the value of equality, the ‘equality of what’ debate, the contrast between resources and capabilities, and the value of social equality.
PE4401P/S/E Honours Thesis (15MC)
This module requires students to conduct an independent research project on an approved topic at the intersection of Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics, under the supervision of a faculty member. The research project, which is intended to be multidisciplinary, engaging the intellectual tools and insights from the disciplines of Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics, will be submitted as an Honours Thesis. The maximum length of the thesis is 12,000 words. (Note: PPE students are to take the thesis module from their own specialization, i.e., “PE4401P” for students with the Philosophy specialization. This module precludes PE4660P/S/E.)
PE4660P/S/E Independent Study (5MC)
The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic at the intersection of Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to identify a topic, readings, and assignments. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. The ISM Coordinator's approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and agreed between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval. (Note: PPE students are to take the thesis module from their own specialization, i.e., “PE4660S” for students with the Political Science specialization. This module precludes PE4401P/S/E.)