Poslední úprava: PhDr. Jaromír Baxa, Ph.D. (10.09.2020)
We analyze the evolution of economics from two perspectives: a) philosophy of economics (“paradox of explanation”) and philosophy of science (legacy of T. Kuhn and I. Lakatos). The class, therefore, combines perspectives from the history of economic thought, philosophy of economics and current policy debates to present history and philosophy of economics as essential knowledge helping to understand current policy decisions and the state of economics as a science. Moreover, the investigation of the historical and methodological foundation of economics enables us to debate questions about the intellectual roots of positions of leading policymakers of the past.
The course is designed as an introductory course; therefore, no in-depth knowledge of economic theory or philosophy is expected. However, the background in economics is, of course, an advantage. Our coverage of historical milestones and economic schools is arbitrary to fit our primary goal, i.e., to follow the gradual development of economics towards science based on mathematical methodology and explain selected policy debates. Therefore, students should not expect that we will cover all schools of thought mentioned in numerous textbooks on the history of economic thought.
Poslední úprava: PhDr. Petr Bednařík, Ph.D. (24.11.2021)
Exam 45 points
Essay 40 points
Essay proposal 4 points
Regular self-assessments 11 points
The main requirements are the final exam and the essay. The student can gain a maximum of 40 points from the essay and 45 points from the final exam. Even though the limit for the grade E is 50 points, each student must write the final exam and deliver an essay to pass the class. In addition, each student must get at least 50 % of points from an essay and at least 50 % of points from the final exam.Without those conditions met, a student cannot pass the course.
Additionally, students can obtain 11 points from regular self-assessments and 4 points for submission of the proposal of the essay.
The total amount of points is 100. However, any student can get additional extra points for a class activity. The maximum amount of these bonus points is 10 and these points can improve the grade significantly.
The final grade will be determined by the sum of all points which the student has gained from the essay, the final exam and his activity throughout the semester according to this scale:
A = 100- 91
B = 90-81
C = 80-71
D = 70-61
E = 60-51
F = 50-0
There are three kinds of topics which student can take up for his essay:
1) Critical discussion of some of the primary (or supplementary) literature in the syllabus for the course.
2) Comparative discussion between two or more of the authors debated in the course.
3) Free topic which should be connected with the topics debated during the course. (Here we recommend consulting the topic with the teachers).
It is possible to consult the essay topics with the teachers, but it is not compulsory. It is also not required from the students that they send information about what topic they have chosen for the essays. Please note that choosing a bad essay topic (disconnected from the course or too general topic about “everything” or dealing with “all problems within economics or philosophy”) will lead to a request for a new essay with a different topic. Failure to produce a new essay will lead to 0 points from the essay assignment and therefore to failing the course.
The recommended length of the essay is 1600 words. Any essay which will have more than 1700 words will be penalized by losing a point for every 10 words above the limit. Given the space restrictions, it is advised not to take a broad and general topic. It is essential to write a short and concise essay with a clear structure:
The maximum amount of points to be gained from the essay is 50. To sum up, these are the following criteria on which the essays will be evaluated:
December 15: Draft of about 2 pages at least, indicating the topic, introduction, very main literature to be used and the expected structure of the argument. Almost final versions can be submitted as well. You’ll receive feedback on this version that should help you to improve your essay. Submission not compulsory, however.
Final versions of the essays are due before the final exams. If a student wants to attend the final exam, he must submit his essay before the exam; otherwise, he will be not allowed to participate in the exam. Every student must write an essay for the course. Not writing one will automatically lead to failing the course.
More detailed guidelines will be submitted in the middle of the semester in the Moodle.
KEY TECHNICAL RECOMMENDATION:
Students are supposed to complete short on-line quizzes in Moodle before each lecture to demonstrate their understanding of the reading. Each short quiz = 1 point.
Activity during the lectures
Students can gain a maximum of 10 points for the general classification during the semester by actively participating in the debate during the lectures. By active participation, it is meant that a student actively participates in the class debate, have read the readings and debate them in the class, etc. If anybody had a point that he wanted to say but for different reasons could not or got the idea after the lecture, he could write it in e-mail form to his lecturers. These can also be evaluated by points. It is recommended to be actively participating also for different reasons, e.g. one can think of his essay topic during these exchanges. A student can get maximum one activity point per class.
To successfully pass the course, the student must write the final exam. The maximum amount of points to be gained from the exam is 40. The content of the exam will not vary from the topics discussed in the lectures or in the readings (at least one part of the exam will be solely based on compulsory texts). It is a necessary prerequisite to submit the essay before one can sign up for the final exam.
Poslední úprava: PhDr. Jaromír Baxa, Ph.D. (10.09.2020)
We provide several readings for each lecture: the original texts of discussed authors and secondary literature. Students are expected to read compulsory papers.
Textbook chapters are not mandatory, but they might help to enhance understanding of the discussed topics. Textbook chapters usually go beyond the lecture content: especially Screpanti and Zamagni (1993). Backhouse (2002) much more reflects the level of lectures related to the history of economic thought and is recommended to be read (very interesting book explaining also historical and political context). Screpanti and Zamagni (1993) are recommended to be read after Backhouse (2002), especially for those without any background in economics.
Main books and textbooks
Backhouse, R. (2002). The ordinary business of life: A history of economics from the ancient world to the twenty-first century (No. 330.9 B3.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Blanchard, O., Romer, D., Spence, M., & Stiglitz, J. E. (2012). In the wake of the crisis: Leading economists reassess economic policy. MIT Press.
Akerlof, G. A., Blanchard, O., Romer, D., & Stiglitz, J. E. (Eds.). (2014). What Have We Learned?: Macroeconomic Policy After the Crisis. MIT Press.
Blanchard, O., Rogoff, M. K., & Rajan, R. (Eds.). (2016). Progress and confusion: the state of macroeconomic policy. International Monetary Fund.
Blyth, M. (2013). Austerity: The history of a dangerous idea. Oxford University Press.
Quiggin, J. (2012). Zombie economics: how dead ideas still walk among us. Princeton University Press.
Screpanti, E., & Zamagni, S. (1993). An Outline of the History of Economic. Thought, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Poslední úprava: PhDr. Petr Bednařík, Ph.D. (15.02.2020)
1) Economics and Moral Philosophy: The way to Adam Smith
7) Explanatory Power of Economic Models: “Paradox of Explanation”