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Inequality: Economic and Philosophical Perspectives (ETHICSOC 371R, PHIL 371D)


The nature of and problem of inequality is central to both economics and philosophy. Economists study the causes of inequality, design tools to measure it and track it over time, and examine its consequences. Philosophers are centrally concerned with the justification of inequality and the reasons why various types of inequality are or are not objectionable.nIn this class we bring both of these approaches together. Our class explores the different meanings of and measurements for understanding inequality, our best understandings of how much inequality there is, its causes, its consequences, and whether we ought to reduce it, and if so, how. nThis is an interdisciplinary graduate seminar. We propose some familiarity with basic ideas in economics and basic ideas in contemporary political philosophy; we will explain and learn about more complex ideas as we proceed. The class will be capped at 20 students.

Course ID: 
211 243
Letter or Credit/No Credit