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Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program

Philosophical study of politics and economics can suffer from operating in ignorance of what the social sciences reveal; the social sciences can be impoverished by a lack of consideration of normative foundations. Research on political economy and the philosophical foundations of institutions is often informed by work in all three fields, and many fundamental questions about the nature and justification of institutions presuppose their intersection.

In the study of political economy in particular, it is natural to seek this interdisciplinarity — early proponents of this approach, such as Smith, Mill and Marx, were educated in less parochial ways than today’s academy typically allows, yet the subject matter demands the multiple perspectives offered by combining the three disciplines. Indeed, since Oxford started its PPE program in the early 20th century, over 100 institutions in the Anglophone world have followed suit. Bridgewater State University’s program was started in 2015 by faculty from the philosophy, political science and economics departments. BSU is the only public institution in Massachusetts to have a PPE program.