Goals and Objectives

The Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) 

The Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) reading group has a focus on unified inquiry. Each of these disciplines offers a piece of a larger puzzle about how to understand the world and the opportunities to advocate for productive change. In reverse order:

          Economics is the applied logic of choice

          Philosophy contributes a question of ultimate ends

          Politics is about coordinating leadership and enacting solutions to collective action problems

 Combining these tools, students gain insight into three very important parts of thinking about their world. This is a complex study of comparing intention to outcome, reminding ourselves of our ultimate purposes, and thinking critically about how to influence those around us.

History of the PPE degree:

The field started at Oxford as a primer for those looking toward careers in public service.

There is a PPE program at the following US schools:

         Duke University

         University of Michigan

         University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

         University of Pennsylvania

         Pomona College

         Carroll University

         University of Washington Tacoma

         George Mason University 

         University of Richmond 

         Eastern Oregon University 

         Denison University 

         Yale University - Ethics, Politics, and Economics? 

         University of Iowa 

         Carnegie Mellon University 

         University of Arizona 

         University of Pittsburg

          University of Notre Dame

          Wheeling Jesuit University -Political and Economic Philosophy?

          Taylor University

          The King's College (New York)

          Mercer University

          Tulane University

          Claremont McKenna


         University of Alabama Birmingham

         University of Virginia

Famous Graduates in PPE:

          Christopher Hitchens

          Robert Reich

          James E. Meade

          Tim Besley

          David Cameron

          William Hauge

 Academic Journal:

 Politics, Philosophy, and Economics: www.sagepub.com/journals/Journal201490

 Format of each session:

 1) Introduction: The moderator begins with a short discussion of the readings highlighting several possible topics of discussion that might get the conversation started; the cue is then open for anyone who has a response or a new topic of conversation

2) Cue: The moderator keeps a cue that has three distinct categories:

On Point: By pointing down at the table the participant lets the moderator know that he or she would like to contribute to the current discussion

New Point: By raising one's hand this signals to the moderator that the participant would like to add something completely new to the discussion, often to explore a new area of dialogue

SIP (Short-important-point): This is no more than two sentences or a tweet. This can be used to keep the conversation on track if someone introduces material that mistaken or has the potential to mislead the conversation.

This format has been designed to discourage a back and forth debate as different students rotate through conversation. It can be challenging to keep track of different threads of the conversation but is an extremely egalitarian way to have an intellectual discussion.