The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program is hosted by the Department of Philosophy in conjunction with the Department of Economics and the Department of Political Science since the first graduating class in 2012. The PPE concentration provides Michigan undergraduates with a rigorous, integrated, and interdisciplinary program of study that brings together three major approaches to understanding human beings and their social and political interactions. Core courses will expose students to a wide range of analytical tools and research methods in the social sciences, and will seek to foster the critical reasoning and rhetorical skills that are essential for philosophical writing and argumentation.
Throughout the course of the program, students will:
- Use the lens of the interests and progress of humanity to assess the relationships of government, political processes, property, production, markets, trade, and distribution
- Explore the relationships between individual action and collective outcomes as they shape and are shaped by environmental conditions, institutions, social norms, ideologies, and strategic and communicative interaction
- Examine the impact of these relations for politics, law and economic policies, aggregate economic outcomes, and justice and human welfare
- Learn about formal methods of analysis including decision theory, game theory, evolutionary game theory, behavioral economics, and agent-based modeling
- Use analytic frameworks (i.e. principal-agent problems and positional competition) to understand characteristic problems that arise for human beings across disparate domains of action
- Reflect critically on the uses and limits of these methods and frameworks in light of empirical information and interpretations drawn from other disciplines, including history, psychology, and sociology, as well as normative and conceptual analysis
- Integrate formal, empirical, interpretive, and normative inquiry to evaluate and design existing and alternative economic systems, constitutions, smaller-scale institutions, organizations, and social norms with a view toward improving their justice and service to human welfare.