Philosophy of Economics

Online courses designed for professionals in business and policymaking

Erasmus Academie and the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE) run a series of online modules in Philosophy and Economics, specially designed for professionals in business and policymaking. These modules focus on analytical concepts and economic challenges we face in our time, like sustainability, well-being, inclusion, social responsibility, rational decision-making, causation. Each module will help you take these analytical concepts to the next level.

Your opinion counts
Please help us develop this program further by completing our questionnaire on the Philosophy and Economics program. We take your opinion very seriously and appreciate the time you take. Filling in only takes 5 minutes of your time.

 

As a free taster of some of the issues, we will be addressing in our online courses, sign up for one or both of our two masterclasses in philosophy and economics. These masterclasses are stand-alone masterclasses and are not part of the courses themselves.

Free Taster Masterclasses

Economics: a science you can trust?

Free masterclass Philosophy of Economics

Freedom and Fairness in the Economy

Free masterclass Philosophy of Economics

Deepen Your Thinking

The researchers at EIPE study a number of analytic concepts, for example, sustainability, well-being, inclusion, social responsibility, rational decision-making, causation. As philosophers, when we study these analytic concepts, we invest a lot of time thinking about (i) the history of these concepts and (ii) what these concepts mean. In the process, we uncover and explore some critical tensions and problems in how citizens, policymakers, firms and politicians use these concepts in everyday life. This is what it means to study these analytic concepts philosophically.

Applied reasoning

These analytic concepts can be applied to a vast range of case studies. For example, one might explore how these concepts might be applied to study new technologies (artificial intelligence, blockchain databases, data-management policies) or issues (the workings of organizations and groups). Each course that we offer focuses on one of these analytic concepts. And each course provides you with the opportunity to apply these analytical concepts to the case studies relevant to your interests and needs. In sum, each course is a highly interactive course in which theory informs practice, and practise informs theory.

Modules and courses

The whole program Philosophy and Economics has several modules, each of them aimed at a challenge we face in our time. Each module consists of several separate courses dedicated to a particular analytic concept. As a student, you can sign up for individual modules or for the whole program.

  • Module I: What would real success look like?

    • Course A: What makes a system sustainable?

    • Course B: Well-being: what is good for people?
    • Course C: What is social responsibility?
  • Module II: Making responsible decisions

    • Course D: Inclusion: who are the stakeholders?

    • Course E: How to make fair decisions?
    • Course F: Can irrationality be avoided?
  • Module III: What Do the data tell us?

    • Course G: From correlation to causation?

    • Course H: Can idealized models yield understanding?
    • Course I: When can you trust the statistics?

Example Course G: From Correlation to Causation

Causation is not correlation, it is commonly said. This raises a problem: how can researchers learn about causation to discover what government programmes or corporate strategies are effective, for example? One popular solution is to “control for confounding variables”. This course explains what this solution consists of, and it explores two further problems that this solution faces: the problem of mediating variables and the problem of causal colliders. The problem of causal colliders is a little-known problem that has recently come to light due to Judea Pearl’s cutting-edge technical work on causation. This course cuts through the technical details to get to the simple concepts at the heart of the problem. It is appropriate both for those with and without a technical background, in statistics, for example.

Structure of Course Activities

Each course consists of 14 hours of study: preparations, discussions, lectures and group work.

(A) The Problem of Causal Forks (2 hours)
  • Pre-recorded lecture + lecture handouts (1 hour).
  • Live online discussion in groups of 10 students of the questions raised by the lecture (1 hour).
(B) Control Variables as a Solution (4 hours)
  • Pre-recorded lecture + lecture handouts (1 hour)
  • Online discussion board to discuss questions raised by the lecture (1 hour)
  • Online discussion in pairs of these questions (1 hour). If there is a case study from your work that interests you, here will be an opportunity to apply the concepts from the lecture to this case study.
  • Liev online discussion in groups of 10 students of these questions, including what was discussed in the paired discussion (1 hour)
(C) The Problem of Mediating Variables (4 hours)
  • Pre-recorded lecture + lecture handouts (1 hour)
  • Online discussion board to discuss questions raised by the lecture (1 hour)
  • Online discussion in pairs of these questions (1 hour). If there is a case study from your work that interests you, here will be an opportunity to apply the concepts from the lecture to this case study.
  • Live online discussion in groups of 10 students of these questions, including what was discussed in the paired discussion (1 hour)
(D) The Problem of Causal Colliders
  • Pre-recorded lecture + lecture handouts (1 hour)
  • Online discussion board to discuss questions raised by the lecture (1 hour)
  • Online discussion in pairs of these questions (1 hour). If there is a case study from your work that interests you, here will be an opportunity to apply the concepts from the lecture to this case study.
  • Live online discussion in groups of 10 students of these questions, including what was discussed in the paired discussion (1 hour)

Who is it for?

The Philosophy of Economics program is especially aimed at professionals in business and policymakers who want to deepen their thought about ethics, use of new technologies, growth and sustainability, foundations of decision theory, methodological and theoretical constraints and opportunities in economics, and delve deeper into both the history and new developments in the economic discipline. 

All courses will be online and will be given in English.

For more information, please contact

Eleni Koulouki

E-mailadres
koulouki@erasmusacademie.nl
Telefoonnummer
+31 10 408 2555

Mo-Th

What is EIPE?

Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE)

  • EIPE, hosted at Erasmus School of Philosophy has been an internationally renowned research group in interdisciplinary research on philosophy and economics for almost 25 years, currently hosting 10 internationally leading senior researchers.
  • EIPE has an internationally acclaimed PhD programme of around 10 PhD students at any given time, and a top-ranked, “boutique” 2-year Research Master in Philosophy and Economics with about 12-15 graduates per year.
  • The alumni of EIPE have careers at the highest level: in public policy and business, but most importantly in academic philosophy, where many of them have become highly influential figures (recipients of major prizes and grants, professorships at major universities, presidents of academic associations).
  • People: EIPE senior academic researchers, EIPE PhD students; Programme: Research Master in Philosophy and Economics.

Go to the website of EIPE→

 

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