PPE is an interdisciplinary Certificate Program at Duke and a minor at UNC that emerged to fill in some crucial gaps between the three disciplines – Philosophy, Politics and Economics – and to bring students a breadth of perspective they cannot get from a single discipline. Important issues ranging from health care allocation and global pandemics to nuclear weapons proliferation and climate change have moral, political, and economic dimensions. Economics and Political Science can help us understand these issues; Philosophy can help us evaluate different proposed solutions to them.
PPE students learn to look at the world through different windows, and to think about the relative role of markets and political institutions in promoting human welfare.
Beyond the Classroom
The PPE Program sponsors an annual conference for students from across the United States. This gathering gives students a chance to meet and discuss some core ideas and applications of PPE with other highly motivated students as well as program faculty. Recent conferences have focused on ‘equality’, ‘crime and punishment’, and ‘markets on the margin’. Over the last decade more than 250 students from 15 different programs have attended, including students from Yale, Penn, Tulane, Virginia, Michigan and Notre Dame. During the two day event, faculty from Duke and UNC lead discussions of classic works, and meet with students informally for meals and social hours to allow the conversation to continue.