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180153 SE Piketty and the philosophy of inequality (2018W)

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

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

No meeting on October 24!

Wednesday 10.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 17.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 24.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 31.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 07.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 14.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 21.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 28.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 05.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 12.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 09.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 16.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 23.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 30.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" is one of the most influential contemporary books on economic inequality. Piketty claims that income and capital ownership are increasingly concentrated and unequally distributed, and his claims have found widespread resonance in debates about economic justice. In this seminar, we will study Piketty's arguments, including his evidence and theoretical explanation of his findings. We also discuss prominent critics of Piketty's work. We will further bring contemporary theories of distributive justice to bear on Piketty's work, in order to evaluate his moral critique of economic inequality, and to explore the moral and practical political implications of his claims. We will also use the World Inequality Database to examine the historical development of inequality in different countries.

At the end of the seminar, students will be able to:
- Explain and critically evaluate Piketty's argument about the historical development of inequality, and its possible future development.
- Use data from the World Income Database to examine the development of inequality in different countries.
- Explain and critically evaluate the normative underpinnings of Piketty's critique of inequality
- Formulate and defend their own position on economic inequality and possible policy interventions.

In preparation of each seminar, students will read the assigned core text and complete a short exercise on Moodle. These exercises include critical reading questions and work on the World Inequality Database 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. Any work on the World Inequality Database does not require sophisticated statistics, but only basic ability to read and interpret data, and the ability to plot simple graphs in Excel or another program. Piketty's argument rests firmly on such data work, and understanding how to handle and interpret the data is hence essential for understanding and critically evaluating his work.

The seminar is taught in English.

Assessment and permitted materials

For assessment, students write two texts:
- A 800-1000 word extended abstract of a proposed term paper. In the seminar, we will discuss how to write such abstracts, which are a common format for submitting work to academic conferences in philosophy.
- A 3000-3500 word term paper. The term paper may be on the same topic as the abstract, but does not have to be.
Submission deadlines will be announced at the start of the term, the first assessment will not be due before the end of the term.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab / Minimal requirements and assessment criteria
Students have to submit the extended abstract and the term paper, written in English. The extended abstract 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 research question for the extended abstract and term paper is developed 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

The core text is Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century", which students should purchase. We will not be able to discuss every passage in detail, but students are advised to read the complete text. Specific passages will be assigned in the detailed seminar plans.
The text is available for sale at facultas.
Further readings will be made available electronically. All assigned readings will be in English.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36