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180094 SE Transformative and Intertemporal Choice (2018W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

No meeting on October 24!

Wednesday 10.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 17.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 24.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 31.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 07.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 14.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 21.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 28.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 05.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 12.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 09.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 16.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 23.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 30.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

What to wear today? What to have for breakfast? Shall I ride the bike or take the tram? Life is full of choices, from the very first moment of every day. The choices just mentioned are quite trivial and don't change much in the long run. But other choices are weightier and much harder: For example, we have to choose what to study or work, where to live, whether to have children, and which religion, if any, to practice. We also have to make decisions in situations of moral dilemmas. These choices are often extremely difficult, and they can transform the deepest aspects of our identities. They also often have a long-term dimension, and form part of interlinked sequences of choices.

In this seminar, we study philosophical questions that arise from such "transformative" and "intertemporal" choices, and examine how they can pose challenges for models of rational choice as employed in economics. In particular, we focus on the work of the philosophers Ruth Chang and Laurie Paul, whose arguments are the most prominent in the contemporary philosophical debate on transformative choice. We will also read related economics literature. Students are not required to follow all mathematical formalisms presented in the economics literature, but should be willing to read somewhat technical texts to distill the key claims and findings, as intelligent "consumers" of economics research. Throughout the seminar, we will keep applying the theoretical arguments and claims to concrete decision situations.

At the end of the seminar, students will be able to :
- Explain and critically evaluate core arguments in contemporary philosophy and economics literature on transformative and intertemporal choice.
- Explain and critically evaluate how the philosophical arguments purport to challenge models of rational choice.
- Explain and critically evaluate how the related economics research bears on the philosophical problems.
- Formulate their own understanding of transformative and intertemporal choices.
- Apply the theoretical claims to real-life choice situations.

In preparation of each seminar, students will read the assigned core text and complete a short critical reading exercise on Moodle. The exercises are not part of the assessment. They are meant as a guide to studying the core texts and preparing for the assessment, and are a required part of active seminar attendance. Students should be prepared to briefly explain their exercise submission in class.

The seminar is taught in English.

Assessment and permitted materials

For assessment, students give a group presentation and write one term paper.
- The group presentation focuses on the core reading of the given week. Each presentation has three parts: Part 1 explains the key claims of the reading, part 2 applies the key claims to an (imagined or real) concrete choice situation, and part 3 offers one or two points of criticism to the philosophical argument. Students present in groups of 2-3 presenters, and presentations are 15 minutes in length.
- Students write a 3000-3500 word term paper. The term paper may be on the same topic as the presentation, but does not have to be. The term paper must also include the elements of exposition of key claims from the literature, critical discussion, and application to concrete choice situations. The term-paper is single-authored.
Submission deadlines will be announced at the start of the term, the term paper will not be due before the end of the term.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Students have to give the presentation and submit the term paper in English. The presentation counts 20% towards the final grade, the term paper 80%.
Students are required to actively attend the seminar, two unauthorized absences will be excused. Active seminar attendance includes reading the assigned core texts, and submitting weekly assigned short exercises on Moodle, before each seminar.

Examination topics

- The topic of the presentation is set by the week's core reading.
- The topic of the term paper is chosen individually by each student, in consultation with the lecturer. Any topics linked to the seminar themes may be chosen, pending approval by the lecturer.

Reading list

Students should purchase Laurie Paul's book "Transformative Experience" (Oxford University Press, 2016). All other texts will be made available electronically.
The text is available for sale at facultas.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36