30L210 :Philosophy of Economics and Economic Ethics for ECO

General info

Instruction language English
Type of Instruction 2 hours lecture weekly (Lecture schedule)
Type of exams written exam. Papers and participation during lectures (Examination schedule)
Course load:6 ECTS credits
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prof. dr. J.J. Graafland (coordinator)


The purpose of this course is to study the relationship between ethics and economics, in particular for the analysis of the free market. The course aims at enabling students to develop a normative view on the institutional setting in which economic agents operate.


The contents of the course consists of three parts:
  • The methodological strategy of economics and the criticism on the core assumptions about the human nature that underpin the economic defence of the market, including rationality, self interest and scarcity. 
  • The characteristics of different ethical theories (utilitarianism, rights ethics, justice, virtue ethics and care ethics) that can be used to evaluate the free market.
  • Application to various issues of market operation that are subject to public debate. 


Please note, that this course is only open to Economics students and cannot be followed as an elective course for other programs.

Compulsory Reading

  1. Graafland, J.J., Economics, Ethics and the market: introduction and applications, London, chapter 1, Part I, Part II, Routledge, 2007.

Recommended Prerequisites

Social Philosophy and Philosophy of Science

Compulsory for

Recommended option for