Economic, Political and Social Ethics

lespo1321  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Economic, Political and Social Ethics
3 credits
30.0 h
Zwarthoed Danielle;
Main themes
Inevitably perhaps within economic and social debate, there is constant confusion between empirical comments, theoretical statements and value judgments. The course tries to teach students how to clarify this debate by distinguishing the various types of question, by clarifying the criteria which, for each type, should enable them to decide between competing positions, and examines how the value judgments which underlie the debate can themselves be the subject of a rigorous discussion.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 This course gives students a synthetic and critical outline of the principal contemporary approaches to economic and social ethics. In this way, and through the effective use of analytical tools with which they are provided, the course aims to help students to take a critical and informed position towards the ethical issues which arise in the broad field covered by the economic, social and political sciences.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Lectures will expound the main contemporary theories in economic, social and political ethics: utilitarianism, libertarianism, Marxism, liberal egalitarianism, the capability approach, communitarianism, feminist theories. Practical cases will focus on ethical problems pertaining to the environmental crisis, social policies, the funding of education, global justice, migratory flows. We will insist on the way each ethical theory would argue in favour of a specific position.
Teaching methods
Courses will be taught with lectures. Students will be invited to prepare each lecture either by reading a paper, watching a video or answering a quizz. The course will highlight the way on the way theories of justice can be applied to public policies and individuals' and organisations' practices. Students will be assigned exercises consisting in the application of a specific theory to a concrete case/dilemma.
Evaluation methods
For the first session (June), evaluation is based on: (i) written assignments during the term; (ii) a final exam (multiple choices quizz)
For the second session (August-September), evaluation will only include a final exam, which will include both a multiple choice quizz and a reflection question.
Online resources
Christian Arnsperger & Philippe Van Parijs, Ethique économique et sociale, Paris : La Découverte, & Syros (" Repères n°300), 2000
Will Kymlicka, Les théories de la justice : une introduction, Paris : La Découverte, 1999.
C. McKinnon, Issues in Political Theory, Oxford University Press, 2008
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Bachelor in Business Engineering

Master [60] in Philosophy

Master [120] in Philosophy

Bachelor in Philosophy

Teacher Training Certificate (upper secondary education) - Philosophy

Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology

Master [120] in Ethics

Bachelor in Political Sciences: General

Bachelor in Economics and Management

Bachelor in Human and Social Sciences

Minor in Sustainable Development

Minor in Management (ESPO students)