New Plan in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Philosophy politics and economics does not truly belong together. The idea of combining them came to the fore at Oxford University where I did my doctorate of Political Philosophy. And the idea being that on the one hand you have a broad range of subjects but there at the same time focused and connected. So it’s very rewarding to look at those three subjects in particular together. I think the new PPE program is amazing. I think for one, it gives students the opportunity to try out three field of studies instead of just one, but also the fact that it safe interdisciplinary program is really interesting the fact that you study how the three field of studies interact. I think most problems we see today or actually multi-dimensional and so the fact that it is disciplinary gives the students these skills to draw upon, to deal with today’s real problems. It’s going to start with some general concepts, poverty, growth, equality, efficiency, but most of the course is going to be focused on specific issues that are of concern today. You have the analytical side of economics but then also the critical thinking and communication skills you can derive Political Studies and Philosophy and I think that that trio together really sets students up for success. You’re able to connect theoretical questions with empirical questions. You’re able to look at the connection between politics and economics. You just have a lot of insight that I think other programs just wouldn’t allow you to have. The PPE program would be a natural choice for students interested in law and public administration, that’s the most obvious thing. Politics involves institutions and constitutions philosophy ethics and argumentation and with economics, dynamics of supply and demand, comparative advantage, and this is all essential material for law and public administration. Queen’s actually has really strong departments in these areas, in philosophy political studies and economics, but was wonderful of course is to have all three of those together and to be able to take what is really the best of Queen’s and scholarly resources and to combine them. Leaders, of course, are going to ask economists for advice but non-economists have to understand some economics. You’ve got to know citizens and leaders, you’ve got to know who to trust, who to be listening to, what kinds of questions to ask, how can you a ask competing experts. So I think PPE is a really, really important field today. It’s a foundation for a whole range of jobs that need the skills of being able to read, research, think, write and speak about complex issues that involve multiple dimensions. Have there been a PPE program when I was nineteen at the other University I was at, I probably would have stuck with it and not had to go back and graduate school and take courses. Really, I think the world is your oyster with this program. [Music]

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