PY429-5-AU-CO:
Capitalism and its Critics

PLEASE NOTE: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

The details
2024/25
Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 5
Inactive
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
15
18 March 2024

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA VV20 Philosophy with Business Management,
BA VV21 Philosophy with Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV22 Philosophy with Business Management (Including Placement Year),
BA VV23 Philosophy with Business Management (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

In this module, we will study the views of both defenders and critics of capitalism.


In exploring the arguments around capitalism as an economic system and form of life, we will study a range of texts, both historical (such as Adam Smith, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Karl Polanyi) and contemporary (such as Nancy Fraser, Liza Herzog, Debra Satz, Elizabeth Anderson, and Wolfgang Streeck)

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:



  1. Explain the main theories, models and concepts applied in the analysis and critique of capitalism.

  2. Summarise normative debates about capitalism, and its dominant contemporary form, neo-liberalism.

  3. Explain and critically assess the arguments made by advocates and critics of capitalism.


Skills for your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)


By the end of this module, students should also have acquired a set of transferable skills, and in particular be able to:



  1. Define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant.

  2. Seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information.

  3. Process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments.

  4. Compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure.

  5. Write and present verbally a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications.

  6. Be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them.

  7. Think 'laterally' and creatively - see interesting connections and possibilities and present these clearly rather than as vague hunches.

  8. Maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position if shown wrong.

  9. Think critically and constructively.

Module information

Incoming Study Abroad students must have already taken an introductory module in Philosophy or Political Theory at their home institution.


In recent years, and especially since the financial crisis of 2008, the social consequences, moral acceptability, and even the long-term viability of capitalism have come under renewed scrutiny.


Is capitalism the best way of organizing the economic life of society, so as to secure individual freedom and economic prosperity? Or does it lead to the pillaging of nature and exploitation of human beings, socially damaging levels of inequality, and the morally regrettable transformation of everything of value into a commodity for sale? And if it does lead to fundamental problems, can it be reformed or do we need a non-capitalist economy (and what would that be)?

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour seminar per week with the whole group, divided between a lecture and group presentations
  • One separate 1-hour class per week in smaller groups, in which selected texts and themes will be discussed in more depth.

Week 8 is Reading Week.

Bibliography

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Fabian Freyenhagen, email: ffrey@essex.ac.uk.
PHAIS General Office - 6.130; pyugadmin@essex.ac.uk.

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
Yes

External examiner

Dr Josiah Saunders
Durham University
Associate Professor
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 5 hours, 5 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.

 


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