ECON 895: Special Topics in Economics

ECON 895-011: Philosophy of Economics
(Fall 2015)

01:30 PM to 04:10 PM F

Innovation Hall 328

Section Information for Fall 2015

This course, first, assesses arguments economists use to defend the status of their discipline as a science, that is, its ability to represent, explain, predict, or help to manage facts about the world.  Philosophers of science dig into such claims and question whether and how models, constructs, theories, laws, metaphors, useful fictions, and other concepts associated with economics help us to understand or explain our experience.  This course asks how one could tell which of many conflicting economic theories and prescriptions are correct – for example, if and how propositions economists defend can be tested.

Second, although many economists would deny it, economic research is chock-a-block with values such as “cost” “benefit,” “welfare,” “efficiency,” and “wealth.”  How do economists understand and measure these values?  This course asks, in other words, whether and how economic science can tell us anything about facts or about values.  Since these are philosophical questions, we shall approach them – as many economists themselves have done -- through philosophical analysis.  The readings are typical of a course in philosophy of economics and range from John Stuart Mill and Lionel Robbins to Milton Friedman and James Buchanan.  There are also some introductory readings in the philosophy of science.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Topics vary according to interests of instructor. Emphasizes new areas of discipline. May be repeated within the term.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate or Non-Degree.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Schedule Type: Lec/Sem #1, Lec/Sem #2, Lec/Sem #3, Lec/Sem #4, Lec/Sem #5, Lec/Sem #6, Lec/Sem #7, Lec/Sem #8, Lec/Sem #9, Lecture, Sem/Lec #10, Sem/Lec #11, Sem/Lec #12, Sem/Lec #13, Sem/Lec #14, Sem/Lec #15, Sem/Lec #16, Sem/Lec #17, Sem/Lec #18
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.