Universität Wien

180207 SE Ethics and Capital Markets (2021W)

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


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


max. 30 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 11.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 18.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 25.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 08.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 15.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 22.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 29.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 06.12. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 13.12. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 10.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 17.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 24.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 31.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

[The seminar information will be updated on a regular basis; therefore, the information stated below can be subject of minor changes until the first session]
For some, they are a tool for providing financial security thus reducing risk in a highly volatile economy, and for some they are seen as a venue, where ostensibly huge amounts of capital are vaporized by some speculators at the cost of "hard working" individuals.
No matter, how it may be, capital markets represent a crucial segment of economic life, where attitudes towards risk and decision making play a special role. What is more, there is certainly no other segment of the economy where rational models are as decisive as in financial markets. In this seminar, we will investigate the area of tension between rational decision-making, profit expectation and ethics in this highly dynamic economic segment and try to approach the ultimate problem of whether human behavior can be modeled?
In particular, we try to find answers to the following issues:
- What are the underlying notions of rationality that come into play in the context of capital markets?
- What are the underlying assumptions of the neoclassical finance theory? What are the most important models? What are its key concepts and scientific background?
- Are individuals acting rationally and what role do ethics play in their decisions?
- Are there any possible alternatives to the underlying notion of rationality in capital markets?
- What is the role of national regulators in enforcing ethical principles and what are the latest trends in the industry?

Assessment and permitted materials

- Regular attendance, class contribution and weekly quiz (30%)
- Presentation and Essay (70%)
o Presentation: with handout (max. 300 Words) due to three days before the presentation. Length: Approximately 15-20Min + 10-15 Minutes class discussion for each participant. The presentations should take place in the second part of the semester (depending on the number of attendees).
o Essay (approx. 2000-3000 Words + bibliography) - 50% (the following subcriteria will be applied in the final evaluation:
 Consistency of the research goals and the research question(s) in accordance with the course material (30%)
 Language and intelligibility (10%)
 Adherence to the citation rules (10%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

As this class is designed as an introductory seminar, no special knowledge or skills are required. A sufficient command of English is important though.
Students of all disciplines of humanities (e.g. philosophy, law, etc…) and social sciences (sociology, economics) are encouraged to take part.

As this course is a seminar, class attendance is mandatory. Unexcused absence in more than two units (1 unit = 1,5h) will be sanctioned with deregistration.
The seminar paper is due to 28th February 2022. Submissions after this date cannot be considered.
87,5%-100%: 1 (Excellent)
75%-87,5%: 2 (Good)
62,5%-75%: 3 (Satisfactory)
50%-62,5%: 4 (Sufficient)
0%-50%: 5 (Non- Sufficient)

Examination topics

A detailed literature list will be announced in the curriculum, available on moodle ca. one week before the first session.

Reading list

Written primarily for a non-academic public, the following book is a good introduction to the main topics of this seminar:

Derman, Emanuel. Models. Behaving. Badly. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2011.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Sa 08.07.2023 00:17