Exploring Equality

Tools for using our new PPE module in the classroom

In a joint effort with the John Templeton Foundation, the Institute for Humane Studies proudly launches our second Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) video module on equality.

Comprised of four videos featuring Dr. David Schmidtz, professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona, the equality module focuses on themes of egalitarianism, the evolution of the social hierarchy, the social contract, and more.

The first concept touched upon in the module, “Liberalism and Equality of Opportunity,” delves into the idea that “all men are created equal,” highlighting how the United States declared its society as non-hierarchical. Dr. Schmidtz explores western society’s movement away from a class system and how today our moral worth is affected by our choices.

In “Equal Treatment or Equal Outcome,” the journey towards political equality, and what that truly means, is explored. Dr. Schmidtz illustrates how society’s purpose is not to measure relative performance and declare a winner, but rather to be a good place for everyone to live.

The third video dissects the idea of “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer.” Dr. Schmidtz makes the argument that viewing society as a zero-sum game hinders us. Instead, he proposes “growing the pie,” and how society can bring services to market that customers want, and at a price they can afford.

In the final installment of this module, “Equal Shares and the Idea of a Social Contract,” the philosophical thought experiment of social contract theory is examined. Focusing on the belief that a person’s moral and political obligations are dependent upon an agreement among individuals, the student is asked to contemplate and specify principles of justice by negotiating the outlines of a society.

Working with leading PPE professors, IHS will create 24 short videos that present broader, more nebulous PPE concepts in an easy-to-understand and engaging format for students. The project serves as a teaching tool, and the versatility of the videos allows faculty to use them both in and out of the classroom, pairing them with suggested readings and incorporating them into lesson plans.

Visit our page for additional modules and more information on our PPE Video Series and Digital Curriculum Resources. New modules will be released on a rolling basis through 2019 to spring of 2020.

Modules

Modules currently available include:
Game Theory
Equality

Upcoming modules include:
Justice (Expected Late Summer 2019)
How Markets Work and Fail (Expected Autumn 2019)
Public Choice Economics (Expected early 2020)
Markets on the Margin (Expected Spring 2020)

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