POLIS 2107 - Passions and Interests: The History of Greed

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

The course attempts to solve the puzzle of how greed was transformed from a Deadly Sin (avarice) to a cool virtue. How could Gordon Gecko manage seduce his audience so easily in the movie Wall Street with his 'Greed is Good' speech? How did we get from there to here? The course will canvas seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century responses to the emergence of market society and will trace the demise of classical, feudal and Renaissance idealism and the emerging 'bourgeois' mentality of the enlightenment era. The transformation of commercial activity from a base occupation to its culmination as a 'calling' is explored as part of an intellectual history of the legitimation of the idea of greed. This history will cover, among other things, an exploration of the following institutions, phenomena and ideas: self-interest; the division of labour; markets; luxury; the proper role of the state: liberalism and its critics; progress; virtue; classical communitarianism, anarchism, utilitarianism, classical political economy, the guaranteed basic income and the Grameen Bank. The course will conclude with a close study of the film Wall Street and a reflection on whether enlightened self-interest is enough to keep societies in motion. Featured thinkers include: Marcus Aurelius, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Mandeville, Adam Smith, Marx, Weber, Hayek, Fukuyama, Singer and van Parjis.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2107
    Course Passions and Interests: The History of Greed
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Studies
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible POLI 2017, POLI 2107, POLI 3017
    Course Description The course attempts to solve the puzzle of how greed was transformed from a Deadly Sin (avarice) to a cool virtue. How could Gordon Gecko manage seduce his audience so easily in the movie Wall Street with his 'Greed is Good' speech? How did we get from there to here?

    The course will canvas seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century responses to the emergence of market society and will trace the demise of classical, feudal and Renaissance idealism and the emerging 'bourgeois' mentality of the enlightenment era. The transformation of commercial activity from a base occupation to its culmination as a 'calling' is explored as part of an intellectual history of the legitimation of the idea of greed. This history will cover, among other things, an exploration of the following institutions, phenomena and ideas: self-interest; the division of labour; markets; luxury; the proper role of the state: liberalism and its critics; progress; virtue; classical communitarianism, anarchism, utilitarianism, classical political economy, the guaranteed basic income and the Grameen Bank. The course will conclude with a close study of the film Wall Street and a reflection on whether enlightened self-interest is enough to keep societies in motion. Featured thinkers include: Marcus Aurelius, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Mandeville, Adam Smith, Marx, Weber, Hayek, Fukuyama, Singer and van Parjis.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Lisa Hill

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    No information currently available.

    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A reading kit, containing the texts that need to be read prior to each tutorial discussion, will be available for purchase at the start of the course from the Image and Copy Centre.

    There is an extended reading list posted on myuni. Some extra articles for further reading will be posted online.

    Detailed Powerpoint slides for each lecture will be posted on myuni (usually prior to the lecture) as well as additional course material and readings.

    Chronology of Some Key Figures.
    Stoicism: 300 BC- 200 AD
    Epicurus c. 341–c. 270
    Gregory the Great: 540-604
    Niccolo Machiavelli: 1459-1517
    Thomas Hobbes: 1588-1679
    John Locke: 1632-1704
    Lord Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury): 1671 to 1713.
    Bernard Mandeville: 1670-1733
    Francis Hutcheson: 1694-1746
    Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790
    Jean Jacques Rousseau: 1712 – 1778
    Adam Ferguson: 1723-1816
    Adam Smith: 1723-1790
    John Stuart Mill: 1806-1873
    Karl Marx: 1818-1883
    Emile Durkheim: 1858-1917
    Max Weber: 1864-1920
    John Maynard Keynes: 1883-1946
    Frederick von Hayek: 1899-1992
    Phillipe van Parijs 1951- F
    rancis Fukuyama: 1952-
    Grameen Bank: circa 1976.
    Wall Street: 1987
    Recommended Resources
    See my uni for further recommended resources.
    Online Learning
    Detailed powerpoint slides will be posted on myuniprior to each lecture.
    Additional course material will be posted on myuni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Face-to-face teaching on campus consisting of two lectures and one tutorial per week. Lectures begin in Week 1 of semester. Tutorials begin in week 2 and are compulsory. Tutorial performance is worth 10% of the overall grade.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students will need to devote approximately 12 hours per week to this course (divided over 12 weeks of study). This consists of 2 x 1-hour lectures and one tutorial per week, and 9 hours per week of independent study, during which time students will prepare for tutorials and work on assignments. The Small Group Discovery Experience will take the form of 2 Sources and Methods Workshops in weeks 1 and 2. In workshops, students and the course coordinator will explore the art of critical textual analysis.
    Learning Activities Summary
     LEARNING ACTIVITIES SUMMARY 

    LECTURE AND TUTORIAL GUIDE

    Week One.
    Lecture 1: Tues. 3rd March: Introduction to Course: Wall Street and the Seven Deadly Sins.
    Lecture 2: Thurs. 5th March: 'Passions and Interests'.
    No tutorial for this week.

    Week Two
    Lecture 3: Tues. 10th March: The Art of Critical Exegesis: Method and the Tools of the Trade (SGDE)
    Lecture 4: Thurs. 12th March: Entering the Text: The Hermeneutic Circle and How to Break Into It (SGDE)
    Seminar Topic: Is Greed Good? What is human nature really like? Is self-interest altogether natural and adaptive?
    Reading: Peter Singer, ‘The Origins of Altruism’, from The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981, pp.3-22 (kit). Additional Reading: 'The Survival of the Selfless' from How are We to Live: Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest, Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1995.

    Week Three.
    Lecture 5: Tuesday 17th March: Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke.
     Lecture 6: Thurs. 19th March: Mandeville, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson.
    Seminar Topic: What is Mandeville's point? What is he trying to say in this poem? Why was he prosecuted for his ideas? Is there any truth to them?
    Reading: Excerpt from Mandeville's Fable of the Bees [1714] Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, With an Essay on Charity and Charity Schools, London: 1723; F. A. Hayek, 'Dr. Bernard Mandeville', Proceedings of the British Academy, March 23, 1966, pp. 125-41 and Philip Harth, 'The Satiric Purpose of the Fable of the Bees', Eighteenth Century Studies, Vol. 2, 1969, pp. 321-40.

    Week Four.
    Lecture 7: Tues. 24th March: Adam Smith.
    Lecture 8: Thurs. 26th March: Adam Smith cont...
    Seminar Topic: Preparing for the minor paper. Bring to the tutorial your choice from one of the twelve gobbets selected by Lisa and located in assessment details. Give a brief explanation/exposition of its meaning and significance. Use secondary readings for support.  See your tutor if you have any difficulties. 
    Reading: Joseph V. Femia, ‘An Historicist Critique of "Revisionist" Methods for Studying the History of Ideas’, History and Theory, Vol. 20, No. 2 (May, 1981), pp. 113-134

    Week Five.
    Lecture 9: Tues. 31st: Greed and the drive for recognition.
    Lecture 10: Thurs. April 2nd: Friendship and Liberal Strangership: Smith, Ferguson and David Hume.
    Seminar topic: Preparing for the minor paper cont…
    Additional topic time permitting: What, for Smith, is our primary motive force? How does it relate to his theory of sympathy? What role does beneficence play in Smith's system? Was he right?
    Reading: Adam Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, R.H. Campbell, and A.S. Skinner, (eds.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979, I. ii. pp. 25-30 and Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, D.D. Raphael and A.L. MacFie, (eds), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976, II.ii.3.1-12, pp. 85-91; Thomas Horne, 'Envy and Commercial Society: Mandeville and Smith on “Private Vices, Public Benefits”’, Political Theory. 9 (4), 1981, pp. 551-69 (posted on myuni); Lisa Hill, ‘Adam Smith on Thumos and Irrational Economic Man’, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 19 (1), 2012, pp. 1-22 (posted on myuni). See also Graeme Garrard, 'Rousseau, Happiness and Human Nature', 2014. Political Studies, 62, pp. 70-82.


    Week Six
    .
    Lecture 11: Tues. April 7th: Spontaneous Order Theories
    Lecture 12: Thurs. April 9th:  The Logic of Utilitarianism (Robert Loring) 
    Seminar topic: What, according to Smith, Hume and Ferguson, is the effect of liberal culture on friendship? Do you think liberal culture is good or bad for friendship? Are there other or better ways of organising society? What are the costs and benefits of living in a close-knit community? Bring something (anything) to the tutorial about this last question.
    Reading: Alan Silver, ‘Friendship in Commercial Society: Eighteenth-Century Social Theory and Modern Sociology’, American Journal of Sociology 95 (6), 1990. 1474-1504; Hill, L. and McCarthy, P. ‘Hume, Smith and Ferguson: Friendship in Commercial Society’, in Preston King and Heather Devere, The Challenge to Friendship in Modernity, London: Frank Cass, 2000 (kit).


    MID-SEMESTER BREAK 13TH TO 24TH APRIL


    Week Seven.
    Lecture 13: Tues. April 28th: Needs and the Sub text of Eighteenth Century Political Economy: Stoicism versus Epicureanism.
    Lecture 14: Thurs. April 30th: Ferguson, Hume and Smith on Needs, Luxury and Corruption.
    Seminar Topic: What exactly does Smith mean when he refers to the existence of a system of 'natural liberty'? What is the proper role of the state? What historical circumstances informed Smith’s position? What do anarchists believe? Does socialism work? Bring something to the tutorial relating to this last question
    Reading: Ivan Szelenyi and Balazs Szelenyi, ‘Why Socialism Failed: Towards a Theory of System Breakdown-Causes of Disintegration of East European State Socialism’, Theory and Society, 23 (2), pp. 211-231; Wealth of Nations, [1776] IV.ix. pp. 687-9 (excerpt in kit); Further reading: Norman Barry 'The Tradition of Spontaneous Order', Literature of Liberty, Vol. 5, 1982, pp. 7-58 (kit).


    Week Eight.
    Lecture 15: Tues. May 28th: Karl Marx
    Lecture 16: Thurs. May 30th: Karl Marx
    Seminar topic: How much does each person owe to the other? Is non-interference enough? What do you think of the idea of a guaranteed basic income? Do the rich owe the poor anything? 

    Reading: Philippe Van Parijs, ‘A Basic Income for All’, Boston Review, Oct/Nov. 2000, http://www.bostonreview.net/BR25.5/vanparijs.html, access date, 16-6-06 (kit); Peter Singer, ‘Famine, Affluence, and Morality’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 1 (3) 1972, pp. 229-243 (kit). Further reading: Robert Goodin, Utilitarianism as a Public Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995; Garrett Cullity, ‘International Aid and the Scope of Kindness’, Ethics 105, 1994, pp.99-127 and, by the same author, The Moral Demands of Affluence, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004; Philippe Van Parijs, ‘A Basic Income For All’, in Joshua Cohen & Joel Rogers, eds., What Is Wrong With A Free Lunch?, Boston: Beacon Press, 2001. *Those really interested may also want to browse a journal called Basic Income Studies at http://www.bepress.com/bis/

    Week Nine.
    Lecture 17: Tues. May 14th: Max Weber and the Protestant Work Ethic.
    Lecture 18: Thurs. May 16th: Individualism versus Collectivism
    Seminar topic: Topic 1. Is capitalism inherently exploitative? Bring something to the class that you think constitutes evidence that capitalism either is or isn’t exploitative.
    Topic 2. What is a ‘command’ or ‘planned economy’? How does it work? Does it work? Are markets really the best way of meeting human needs?
    Readings: Liu, Yuanli, W.C. Hsiao and Karen Eggleston, ‘Equity and Health Care: The Chinese Experience, Social Science and Medicine, 49 (10) 1999, pp. 1349-1356 (kit). Joshua Kurlantzick, ‘The most important new forces in global business are aggressive, wealthy, and entrepreneurial. But they aren't corporations: they're authoritarian governments’, Boston Globe, March 16, 2008 (kit). For those who have time and inclination: Richard E. Ericson, ‘The Classical Soviet-Type Economy: Nature of the System and implications for reform’, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5 (4), 1991, pp. 11-27 (kit). See also, Naomi Klein, Shock Doctrine: Disaster Capitalism. *Those really interested may also want to consult a journal called Capitalism and Society.

    Week Ten.
    Lecture 19: Tues. May 21st: Liberalism: The Big Picture.
    Lecture 20: Thurs. May 23rd: Francis Fukuyama. Liberalism, Progress and Perfectibility: The End of History?
    Seminar topic: What, if anything, is wrong with liberal democracy? What, if anything, is good about it? Think, in particular, about the stress liberals place on individual liberty.

    Readings: J.S. Mill, ‘Of the Limits to the Authority of Society Over the Individual’, and ‘Applications’, in J. S. Mill, On Liberty and Other Essays, Edited and with an Introduction by John Gray, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 83-128; Jonathan Wolff, ‘The Place of Liberty’, in J. Wolff, An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996 and Lon L. Fuller, ‘The Case of the Speluncean Explorers’ Harvard Law Review, 62 (4), 1949 (extended version http://www.nullapoena.de/stud/explorers.html)(all in kit).


    Week Eleven
    Lecture 21: Tues. May 28th: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street.
    Lecture 22: Thurs. May 30th: Wall Street, Part II.
    Seminar topic: Is liberal democracy really the end point of history? What is Keynes’ arguing?
    Reading: Francis Fukuyama, ‘The End of History’, The National Interest, Summer, 1989, pp. 3-18; J. M. Keynes, 'The End of Laissez-Faire', in D. Sidorsky (ed) The Liberal Tradition in European Thought, New York: Capricorn Books, [1926] 1971; Rudd, Kevin, ‘The Global Financial Crisis’, The Monthly, February, 2009; Kevin Rudd, ‘The Global Financial Crisis’, The Monthly, February, 2009


    Week Twelve
    Lecture 23: Tues. June 2nd: Wall Street: The Lecture.
    Lecture 24: Thurs. June 4th: Course round-up: ‘What we found out’.
    Seminar Topic: The Grameen Bank. What is micro-finance and how has it been used to alleviate poverty? Does it work? If so, why does it work? What lessons can be learned from the Grameen bank (and similar schemes around the world)? What does it teach us about self-interest?
    Reading: Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank, Bangladesh), Acceptance Speech for Petersberg Prize, 2004, http://www.grameen-info.org/bank/Acceptance.html, access date, 11-1-08; Muhammed Yunus, ‘Is the Grameen Bank Different from Conventional Banks?’, October, 2007 http://www.grameen-info.org/bank/GBdifferent.htm, access date 11-1-08; Abu N. M. Wahid, ‘The Grameen Bank and Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh: Theory, Evidence and Limitations’, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Jan., 1994), pp. 1-15; Outline and Borrower profiles from Small Fortunes, (documentary) http://www.kbyutv.org/smallfortunes/borrowers/ (kit). Further reading: Jonathan Morduch, ‘The Role of Subsidies in Microfinance: Evidence from the Grameen Bank, Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 60, 1999, pp. 229-248; Pitt, Mark M. and Khandker, Shahidur R. Household and Intrahousehold Impact of the Grameen Bank and Similar Targeted Credit Programs in Bangladesh, World Bank, June 1996 , pp. 1-109; Shahidur Khandker, Zahed Khan and Baqui Khalily Grameen Bank: Performance and Sustainability, World Bank Discussion Paper No. 306, November 1995, World Bank.



    Specific Course Requirements
    There are two lectures and one tutorial per week. Tutorial assessment is compulsory and reading must be done in preparation.

    Assessment: What you need to do to pass this course.

    Attend at least 75% of the tutorials and participate in an informed and thoughtful manner in class discussions; submit and pass two papers.

    1. Minor paper: 1500 words. Worth 30% of overall grade. Due Date: Monday April 27 by 5 pm.

    2. Major essay: 3000 words. Worth 60% of overall grade. Due date: Monday June 15 by 5 pm.

    3. Tutorial participation: Worth 10% of overall grade.

    Marks (at 2 percentage points per day) will be deducted for late essays and assignments.

    The minor (first) essay will be an exercise in textual analysis with a view to applying the method and principles set out in the introductory lectures. A preparatory/rehearsal exercise for this assessment is scheduled for the seminar of week 4 but you can start work on it earlier if you like. See your tutor if you need any help. Your task is to compose a critical exegesis (meaning a thoughtful textual analysis) of one of the twelve selected passages drawn from some of the thinkers studied in the course. What is the writer trying to say? Contextualise these sentiments by exploring their place in history and ‘contemporary’ debates (i.e. public and intellectual discourse of the time and who or what the author was seeking to challenge). Try to focus on the text itself but use secondary reading to enrich your analysis and provide background. A really good paper will canvass and critique alternative interpretations. Lectures 3 and 4 will give support for this exercise. Students are invited to pitch their outlines (and method) for the minor assignment in seminars. Ten minutes per seminar will be reserved for discussing each student’s proposed paper.

    The major essay will be a more ambitious exercise in terms of the requirement for critical analysis. Topic-wise, you have a lot of choice so think carefully about what interests you. Feel free to discuss your choice with your tutor in class. Prof. Hill can also advise here. The list of questions/topics is given under 'Assessment'.



    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The Small Group Discovery Experiences will take place in Lectures 3 and 4 and will involve learning about the techniques and resources for textual analysis.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment: What you need to do to pass this course.

    Attend at least 75% of the tutorials and participate in an informed and thoughtful manner in class discussions; submit and pass two papers.

    1. Minor paper: 1500 words. Worth 30% of overall grade. Due Date: Monday April 27 by 5 pm.

    2. Major essay: 3000 words. Worth 60% of overall grade. Due date: Monday June 15 by 5 pm.

    3. Tutorial participation: Worth 10% of overall grade.

    Marks will be deducted for late essays and assignments.

    Essays should be submitted in both electronic and hardcopy to the School of Social Sciences Office.
    Essays should be uploaded to both myuni and turnitin. A cover sheet (downloaded from MyUni) must be attached to your essay.
    The minor (first) essay will be an exercise in textual analysis with a view to applying the method and principles set out in the introductory lectures. A preparatory/rehearsal exercise for this assessment is scheduled for the seminar of week 4 but you can start work on it earlier if you like. See your tutor if you need any help. Your task is to compose a critical exegesis (meaning a thoughtful textual analysis) of one of the twelve selected passages drawn from some of the thinkers studied in the course. What is the writer trying to say? Contextualise these sentiments by exploring their place in history and ‘contemporary’ debates (i.e. public and intellectual discourse of the time and who or what the author was seeking to challenge). Try to focus on the text itself but use secondary reading to enrich your analysis and provide background. A really good paper will canvass and critique alternative interpretations. Lectures 3 and 4 will give advice as to how to go about this exercise. Students are invited to pitch their outlines (and method) for the minor assignment in seminars. Ten minutes per seminar will be reserved for discussing each student’s proposed paper.

    The major essay will be a more ambitious exercise in terms of the requirement for critical analysis. Topic-wise, you have a lot of choice so think carefully about what interests you. Feel free to discuss your choice with your tutor in class. The list of questions/topics is given below. Many of the readings on the ‘Further Reading’ list posted on myuni should help with your research. See also ‘Additional Reading’ in each week’s tutorial.

    Both assessments are geared to address the graduate attributes: ability to do critical exegesis; ability to read classic texts with reference to the social and historical context; appreciation of some of the most important assumptions of Western-liberal culture; the ability to think creatively; the capacity to frame a research project and devise appropriate and effective ways of examining it; and an ability to understand ethical issues in their intellectual context. The university Graduate Attributes are outlined on the DVC (E)'s web site. Assignments no longer need to be printed by students, but instead will be submitted online through MyUni. This is a two-step process. The assignment first needs to be electronically submitted for marking through the course folder in MyUni by following the instructions to upload a Word Document. It then needs to be submitted separately to Turnitin, which is also done through the MyUni site. Marked assignments will be returned to the student in printed form. Late Essays and Requests for Extensions: Requests for an extension for an essay must be made well in advance of the due date. The pressure of other academic work will not be accepted as grounds for an extension. Generally, extensions will require a medical certificate or a letter from a counsellor. Anyone who cannot submit a major assignment must submit the appropriate University of Adelaide form. Extensions for the final essay will be granted only in extreme circumstances. The penalty for late submitted work is a deduction of 2 percentage points per day.

    Seminar Participation: 10% (non redeemable)

    Each seminar, your tutor will note if you are present, and will assess the character and level of participation in the seminar exercises and discussion. Attendance alone is not equivalent to participation. The mark for participation will take into account evidence of preparation, contribution, ability to contribute to both small and large group work, and general engagement and interest, as demonstrated in the seminar. Your seminar leader will make an assessment each week on the basis of evidence of your preparation for the class and your contribution to the seminar discussions. If for a good reason you are not able to attend a seminar (e.g. illness), you should notify your seminar leader as soon as possible, so this can be taken into account or other arrangements made. This aspect of assessment is to ensure each student is learning as they go along and to assess ability to work in groups.

    The marks awarded for this aspect of the assessment will be on the following basis:
    Fail 0 - 49: Failure to attend or to contribute to class discussion; lack of responsiveness to questions
    Pass 50 - 64: Regular attendance but limited contribution to class discussion; contribution to class discussion evident but not well developed
    Credit 64 - 75: Regular attendance with frequent and thoughtful contribution to class discussion; demonstrating sound level of preparation, understanding, and knowledge
    Distinction 75 - 84: Regular attendance with frequent contribution to class discussion of a highly developed nature, demonstrating high level of preparation, understanding, knowledge and critical thinking
    High Distinction 85 - 100: Regular attendance with outstanding level of preparation and contribution to class discussion in terms of understanding of course material, responsiveness to other contributions and use of supporting material
    Assessment Detail
    Essays should be submitted in both electronic and hardcopy to the School of Social Sciences Office.
    Essays should be uploaded to both myuni and turnitin. A cover sheet (downloaded from MyUni) must be attached to your essay.

    MINOR ASSIGNMENT

    Gobbets for minor essay (critical exegesis/textual analysis) – choose only one.

    Please note: the wording in quotes from classical and early modern sources up to Hobbes may vary according to the translation and the edition you are using. This doesn’t matter; just remember to use the exact wording of the edition you have chosen.

    Length: 1500 words (worth 30 % of overall grade)
    Due Date: 5pm April 27th

    Your essay on the gobbet should answer 3 questions.
    a. What historical context is relevant to understanding this passage?
    b. What is its author trying to say?
    c. Who or what (if anything) is being challenged in the passage?

    A good answer will not be full of unnecessary background and padding but will focus on interpreting the meaning of the passage in context.
    A good answer will also: Be well written
                                        Be well presented without typos (i.e properly proof-read before submission)
                                        Use some secondary reading to locate and inform your interpretation
                                        Locate and interpret the passage/gobbet in the context of the whole text and surrounding passages
                              


    1. “A blessed and indestructible being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; so he is free from anger and partiality, for all such things imply weakness” (Epicurus, Principal Doctrine 1).

    2. “There never was such a thing as absolute justice, but only agreements made in mutual dealings among men in whatever places at various times providing against the infliction or suffering of harm” (Epicurus, Principal Doctrine 33).

    3. “[S]ince we are all rational beings so the law which governs us must be universal...we are all fellow citizens and share a common citizenship...the world is a single city” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.4. 65).

    4. “[T]he good is preferred above every form of kinship...if the good is something different from the noble and the just, then father and brother and country and all relationships simply disappear” (Epictetus, Discourses, III. iii. 5-9).

    5. “You are again insisting to me that you are a nobody, and saying that nature in the first place, and fortune in the second, have treated you too scurvily, and this in spite of the fact that you have it in your power to separate yourself from the crowd and rise to the highest human happiness! If there is any good in philosophy, it is this, - that it never looks into pedigrees. All men, if traced back to their original source, spring from the gods. You are a Roman knight, and your persistent work promoted you to this class; yet surely there are many to whom the fourteen rows are barred; "the senate-chamber is not open to all; the army, too, is scrupulous in choosing those whom it admits to toil and danger. But a noble mind is free to all men; according to this test, we may all gain distinction. Philosophy neither rejects nor selects anyone; its light shines for all” (Seneca Epistle 44).

    6. "How praiseworthy it is for a prince to keep his word and live with integrity rather than by craftiness, everyone understands; yet we see from recent experience that those princes have accomplished most who paid little heed to keeping their promises, but who knew how to manipulate the minds of men craftily. In the end, they won out over those who tried to act honestly" (Machiavelli, The Prince, XVIII).

    7. “One can make this generalisation about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars, and deceivers, they shun danger and are greedy for profit; while you treat them well, they are yours… Men worry less about doing an injury to one who makes himself loved than to one who makes himself feared. The bond of love is one which men, wretched creatures that they are, break when it is to their advantage to do so’ (Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter XVII).

    8. “Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short …To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law; where no law, no injustice” (Hobbes, Leviathan, Chapter XIII).

    9. “‘After this I flatter myself to have demonstrated that neither the friendly qualities and kind affections that are natural to man, nor the real virtues he is capable of acquiring by reason and self-denial, are the foundation of society: but that what we call evil in the world, moral as well as natural, is the grand principle that makes us sociable creatures, the solid basis, the life and support of all trades and employments without exception: that there we must look for the true origin of all arts and sciences, and that the moment evil ceases the society must be spoiled, if not totally dissolved… Private Vices by the dextrous Management of a skilful Politician may be turned into Publick Benefits.” (Bernard Mandeville, ‘A Search Into the Nature of Society’, 428, p. 369, F.B. Kaye Edition of Fable of the Bees).

    10. “If we see a house, Cleanthes, we conclude, with the greatest certainly, that it had an architect or builder, because this is precisely that species of effect which we have experienced to proceed from that species of cause. But surely you will not affirm, that the universe bears such a resemblance to a house that we can with the same certainty infer a similar cause, or that the analogy is here entire and perfect”’ (Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion II.144).

    11. “All the members of human society stand in need of each others assistance, and are likewise exposed to mutual injuries. . . But though the necessary assistance should not be afforded from such generous and disinterested motives, though among the different members of the society there should be no mutual love and affection, the society, though less happy and agreeable, will not necessarily be dissolved. Society may subsist among different men, as among different merchants, from a sense of its utility, without any mutual love or affection; and though no man in it should owe any obligation, or be bound in gratitude to any other, it may still be upheld by a mercenary exchange of good offices according to an agreed evaluation. Society, however, cannot subsist among those who are at all times ready to hurt and injure one another. The moment that injury begins, the moment that mutual resentment and animosity take place, all the bands of it are broke asunder, and the different members of which it consisted are, as it were, dissipated and scattered abroad by the violence and opposition of their discordant affections. If there is any society among robbers and murderers, they must at least, according to the trite observation, abstain from robbing and murdering one another. Beneficence, therefore, is less essential to the existence of society than justice. Society may subsist, though not in the most comfortable state, without beneficence; but the prevalence of injustice must utterly destroy it” (Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, II.ii.3.1−3).

    12. “All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing it towards the employments most suitable to the interest of the society. According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain publick works and certain publick institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expence to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society” (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, IV.ix. 51).


    MAJOR ESSAY: Worth 60% of overall grade.
    Length:  3000 words.  
    Due date: Monday June 15 by 5 pm.
     
    Hints:
    A good essay will: Not be full of padding and unnecessary detail
                                Be informed by a substantial number of authoritative secondary sources (if all your sources have URL's this is a bad sign).
                                Be well presented and well written
                                Actually address the question
                             


    ESSAY TOPICS
    1. Why was the Fable of the Bees significant? What was its effect?

    2. Do you agree with Hobbes that law without sanction is vain? What was Mandeville's position here? What do anarchists believe? Are they right?

    3. Compare Smith and the Stoics on the problem and nature of needs.

    4. Explore the Stoic conception of ‘corruption’. Compare it with modern conceptions of corruption.

    5. What, for Ferguson, were the chief problems of modernity? Were they the same for Weber and Marx?

    6. Why does Benjamin Franklin figure in a course about the rehabilitation of greed? What does he represent?

    7. Compare Ferguson and Marx or Smith and Marx on the effects of the division of labour.

    8. What is a luxury good? Is luxury bad?

    9. What is conspicuous consumption? Can status envy or ‘invidious comparison’ be in any way useful?

    10. Is there a contradiction between Books I and V of the Wealth of Nations regarding the effects of specialization?

    11. What is 'Das Adam Smith Problem' and why has it been labelled a 'pseudo problem'? Is it? If so, Why?

    12. By what means did Smith attempt to legitimate self-interest? If you like, talk about how he adapted Stoicism to this end?

    13. Compare Marx and Smith on the notion of 'class'.

    14. Is economics really subject to laws of nature? Is it a science?

    15. What is libertarianism? What is individualism? What are their political implications?

    16. To what does the term 'spontaneous order' refer? Briefly explain how spontaneous order models work and outline why such explanations herald the beginnings of social science proper. What explanatory power do they have?

    17. Compare Marx and Weber on the origin, nature and effects of capitalism.

    18. Why did John Stuart Mill value freedom so highly? What kind of freedom was he interested in?

    19. What is the relationship between the liberal principles of freedom and equality? Is there a problem?

    20. What have Stoicism and Epicureanism got to do with the history of the legitimation of greed?

    21. Illuminate the following concepts using specific examples from popular culture (e.g. advertisements, films, television programmes, magazines etc): false consciousness, reification and commodity fetishism.

    22. What is utilitarianism? What, if anything, is wrong with it? What, if anything, is good about it?

    23. What is rationalism? How has its meaning changed through time and how has this affected its political and economic implications?

    24. Is greed good, morally indifferent, or bad? Should we distinguish between greed and enlightened self-interest?

    25. What is individualism? What, if anything, is wrong with it? What, if anything, is good about it?

    26. Define and explore critically the dilemma of wealth and virtue in eighteenth century political and moral discourse.

    27. ‘Karl Marx offers no useful insights for today’s world’. Discuss critically.

    28. What is ‘beneficence’ and what is its role in Adam Smith's system of ethics? Do you think he was right? If so, why? If not, why not?

    29. Does Smith have an early theory of alienation? Is it the same as Marx’s?

    30. How effective are markets at delivering human flourishing? Do planned economies have any advantage over markets? 34. Critically evaluate Philippe Van Parijs’ idea of a guaranteed basic income.

    31. How compelling is the utilitarian case for foreign aid?

    32. Critically evaluate the value and effects of the Grameen Bank.

    33. Outline and explore the tension between Mill’s utilitarianism and his views on individual liberty. Can it be reconciled?

    34. Is Capitalism inherently exploitative? Under what circumstances, if any, does capitalism work best?

    35. What it the proper relationship between the market and the state? In your answer, you may wish to canvass different schools of thought and assess their different strengths and weaknesses before coming to a conclusion.

    For readings see 'Recommended Resources' and ‘additional reading’ indicated in tutorial reading and the extended list posted on myuni. Further readings can be suggested to students on an individual basis (See your tutor or Professor Hill).
    Submission
    Essays should be submitted in both electronic and hardcopy to the School of Social Sciences Office.
    Essays should be uploaded to both myuni and turnitin. A cover sheet (downloaded from MyUni) must be attached to your essay.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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