Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law

  • Department Information

    Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law

    Jeppe Platz, Coordinator (Philosophy)

    The interdisciplinary major in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law (PPEL) enables students to pursue a rigorous exploration of the historical, methodological, and theoretical interconnections among these four fields of study. Students will acquire knowledge of different conceptual, theoretical and normative perspectives within each discipline, and will learn to use methods appropriate to each of them. The distinctive aim of the major is to assist students in synthesizing what they learn from their study of philosophy, politics, economics, and law so as to apply a combination of practical and theoretical knowledge to questions of social order and public policy.

  • Major

    The Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law Major

    Note: The grade point average of the coursework comprising the major must be no less than 2.0, with no course grade below a C- (1.7). A grade of C or better is required in ECON 101.

    14-15 units, including:

    Core Courses

    ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics

    PPEL 261 PPEL Seminar in Theory and Public Policy

    PPEL 262 PPEL Seminar in Law and Social Order

    PPEL 363 Rational Choice and Political Theory

    PPEL 401 PPEL Capstone Seminar

    Area Courses

    One course in normative ethics

    One course in normative political theory/political philosophy

    One law-related course

    Note: Area requirements can be fulfilled by courses in a variety of departments and schools. Majors should consult the PPEL website for an up to date list of approved courses. Exactly one area course may also count toward the 5 units within the primary concentration field.

    Concentration

    A required concentration chosen from Economics, Politics, or Philosophy including:

    Five units selected from within the primary concentration field.

    One unit from each of the other two concentration fields.

    Notes:

    Students may petition the coordinator to have a new course count as an area or concentration course.

    No more than half of the courses satisfying the requirements of the major may be taken in a single department.

    With the exception of Leadership Studies, no more than three courses that count toward the completion of another major may also count toward the PPEL major. No more than four courses that count toward the completion of a Leadership Studies major may also count toward the PPEL major.

    Study abroad is strongly encouraged. Upon approval of the PPEL coordinator, relevant coursework abroad can substitute for PPEL major requirements with the exception of PPEL 261, PPEL 262, and PPEL 401.

    Students seeking an exception to any of the major requirements must submit a petition to the PPEL Advisory Committee. No exceptions or substitutions will be made for the four core courses. Please see the PPEL coordinator for additional information. Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the major. Prerequisites do not count toward the major unless otherwise noted.

  • Area Courses

    Area Courses

    Ethics Area Courses

    ECON 233 Ethics and Economics

    LDST 377 Ethical Decisions-Making in Healthcare

    LDST 450 Leadership Ethics

    PHIL 120 Contemporary Moral Issues

    PHIL 265 Bioethics

    PHIL 360 Ethics

    PHIL 365 Action, Responsibility, and Free Will

    PHIL 375 Ethics and Practical Reasoning

    RELG 267 Varieties of Christian Ethics

    RELG 269/ENVR 269/PHIL 269 Ethics, Religion and the Environment

    RELG 294 Varieties of Jewish Ethics

    RELG 367 Aristotle, Aquinas: The Ethics

    RELG 367 Ethics and Religion in American Pragmatism

    RELG 369 Ethics, Religion, and War

    RELG 369 Foundations of Social Ethics

    RELG 394 Asian Ethics

    Political Theory/Political Philosophy Area Courses

    ANTH 328 Anthropology of Human Rights

    ANTH 335 Law and Order: The Anthropology of Justice

    GEOG 370 Geographies of Economic Development and Globalization

    HIST 391 Transnational Social Reform

    LDST 210 Justice and Civil Society

    LDST 361 Sex, Power, and Politics

    LDST 378 Statesmanship

    PHIL 363 Power and Politics

    PHIL 369 Economic Justice

    PHIL 382 Economic Justice

    PLSC 311 Classical Political Thought

    PLSC 312 Modern Political Theory

    PLSC 315 American Political Theory

    PLSC 339 Jurisprudence in Contemporary American Politics

    RELG 369 Ethics, Religion, and War

    Law-Related Area Courses

    ANTH 335 Law and Order: The Anthropology of Justice

    CLSC 320 Cultural Property: Archaeology, Ethics, and Law

    ECON 231 Law and Economics

    ENVR 366 International Environmental Law

    HCS 240 Law and Medicine

    HIST 199 Scottsboro Trials

    HIST 240 / WGSS 203 Human Rights and Revolution in the Atlantic World (1750-1850)

    JOUR 206 Journalism Law, Ethics

    PHIL 260 Philosophical Problems in Law and Society

    PHIL 364 Philosophy and Law

    PLSC 331 Constitutional Law

    PLSC 333 Civil Rights/Liberties

    PLSC 337 The American Legal System

    PLSC 339 Jurisprudence in Contemporary American Politics

    PLSC 352 International Law and Organization

    PLSC 362/ENVR 362 Environmental Law and Policy

    RHCS 353 Rhetoric and Law

    SOC 311 Juvenile Delinquency

  • Concentrations

    Concentrations

    PPEL Concentration in Economics

    Erik Craft (Economics) and Jonathan Wight (Economics), Advisors

    Seven units, including:

    ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics

    ECON 271 Microeconomic Theory

    One unit chosen from:

    ECON 231 Law and Economics

    ECON 233 Ethics and Economics

    Two elective units in Economics at the 200 or 300 level

    One elective in Philosophy

    One elective in Political Science

    PPEL Concentration in Politics

    Stephen Simon (Political Science), Advisor

    Seven units, including:

    Five elective units in Political Science

    One elective in Philosophy

    One elective in Economics (ECON 102 or 200 level or higher Economics course)

    PPEL Concentration in Philosophy

    Geoff Goddu (Philosophy) and Nancy Schauber (Philosophy), Advisors

    Seven units, including:

    Four elective units in Philosophy

    One elective in Political Science

    One elective in Economics (ECON 102 or 200 level or higher Economics course)

    One unit chosen from: PHIL 271 Ancient Greek Philosophy or PHIL 272 Modern European Philosophy

Courses

Expand All
  • PPEL 261 PPEL Theory and Public Policy

    Units: 1

    Description

    Aims to bring into contact and conflict various normative theories developed by philosophers, political scientists, and economists - that is, their different accounts of what makes acts right, outcomes good, or societies just - with significant attention paid to the implications these theories have for some issue of public policy such as climate change healthcare reform, or global poverty reduction.

    Prerequisites

    One course from any two of the following disciplines: Philosophy, Political Science, Economics, or Leadership Studies.

  • PPEL 262 PPEL Law and Social Order

    Units: 1

    Description

    Aims to bring into contact and conflict various normative theories developed by philosophers, political scientists, economists, and legal theorists - that is, their different accounts of what makes acts right, outcomes good, or societies just - with significant attention paid to the implications these theories have for some area of law, such as international or tort law, or some legal institution, such as legislatures or courts.

    Prerequisites

    One course from any two of the following disciplines: Philosophy, Political Science, Economics, or Leadership Studies.

  • PPEL 363 Rational Choice and Political Theory

    Units: 1

    Description

    Critical introduction to the concepts and tools of rational choice theory and their application to the realm of politics in the form of social choice and public choice theory. Particular attention will be given to the use of choice theory to make normative arguments regarding the design of political and legal institutions, as well as public policy.

    Prerequisites

    (1) ECON 101; and (2) PPEL 261 or PPEL 262

  • PPEL 381 Selected Topics in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law

    Units: 1

    Description

    Selected topics in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law not covered by existing courses.

    Prerequisites

    Departmental approval.

  • PPEL 388 Individual Internship

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Experiential learning with application of theories and concepts from the disciplines of philosophy, political science, economics, and leadership studies in nonacademic contexts. Students may count no more than one unit of internship credit toward completion of the PPEL major. No more than 3.5 units of internship of any kind may count toward the total number of units required for a degree.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of PPEL coordinator

  • PPEL 390 Independent Study

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    In-depth exploration of normative theories, concepts, and questions from the perspective of the disciplines of philosophy, politics, economics, and leadership studies, where these are not covered by other courses students may take in order to complete the PPEL major. Independent study proposals must be submitted to the PPEL Coordinator at least two weeks before the beginning of classes for the semester in which the independent study is to take place. No more than one unit of independent study may count toward completion of the PPEL major.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of PPEL coordinator

  • PPEL 401 PPEL Capstone Seminar

    Units: 1

    Description

    A substantial research project that integrates normative theory from the disciplines of philosophy, political science, and economics. Specific topic and instructor will vary from semester to semester.

    Prerequisites

    ECON 101, PPEL 261 and 262. PPEL 363 (may be taken concurrently).

  • PPEL 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

    Units: 0

    Description

    Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

    Prerequisites

    Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor