Vous êtes ici :

Faculté des sciences économiques et de gestion (FSEG)

Information importante

La page que vous consultez correspond à l'offre de formation 2023-2024.

Trouvez votre formation pour l'année universitaire 2024-2025

Philosophy of Money and the Good Life

  • Cours (CM) 24h
  • Cours intégrés (CI) -
  • Travaux dirigés (TD) -
  • Travaux pratiques (TP) -
  • Travail étudiant (TE) -

Langue de l'enseignement : Anglais

Niveau de l'enseignement : B2-Avancé - Utilisateur indépendant

Description du contenu de l'enseignement

Ce cours est proposé aux étudiants de licence en S6.
Code Apogée, pour l'inscription pédagogique : EG11EMG3.
This course is proposed at S6 (Semestre 2 of L3 level students) only; there is a limited reception capacity.

This course will promote critical reflection on the nature and meaning of money in two domains: the personal and the societal. Philosophers since Antiquity have wondered how money relates to a life well-lived. How did money get started ? Why do people fantasize about it and fear it ? Can meaning and value be defined in monetary terms ? Is there such a thing as a pure gift? What kinds of love can money buy ? In what ways does gold differ from digital currency ? Do market participant misdeeds have rational explanations ? Is money finally important ? We consider classic theory, current policy, and personal dilemmas in light of such questions.

The course will be taught by Prof. Gregory Owcarz, Sciences Po Paris and California State University. It will include the following chapters :

Money - A User’s Manual
Readings: “Economy”- Henry David Thoreau, “Mineral Stones” in Frozen Desire- James Buchan,
“What Is Money?” - Frederic Mishkin
The History of Money
Readings:The Ascent of Money- Niall Ferguson, “The Anthropology of Money” - Bill Maurer,
Primitive Money(review) - Paul Enzig, “How Neolithic Farming Sowed the Seeds of Inequality,”
- James Suzman, “Thirty Pieces of Silver” in Frozen Desire

Money and Religion
Readings: “Exploring Money and Spirit” and “Money and the Meaning of Life” - Jacob Needleman,
“Lack of Money” - David Loy, “Why Don't Churches Pay Taxes?” - Erik Stanley, “Scientology and Tax Exemptions” - Matthew Estes, “The L ong Marriage of Mindfulness and Money” - Michelle Goldberg
Money and Art
Readings: “Art and Money” - Robert Hughes, “Art and Money” - Adam Gopnik, “Art and Taxpayers” - Arthur Danto, “Paradox of Art as Work” - A.O. Scott, “Has Conceptual Art Jumped the Shark Tank?” - Denis Dutton, “False Narrative of Damien Hirst's Rise and Fall” - Felix Salmon
Money and Science
Readings: “Science and Money: Problems and Solutions” - David Resnick, “To He That Hath”
-The EconomistEditorial Board, “Be Afraid, Very Afraid, of the Tech Crisis” - Andre Geim,
“Has Big Money Corrupted Science” - W. Lepkowski, “Conform and Be Funded" - Joshua Nicholson
Money and Politics
Readings: “Didn’t They Notice ?” - David Runciman, “The Spider’s Web” - Michael Oswald,
“We Are the One Percent” - John Kenney, “How to Finance an Emperor's Election” - Amy Davidson, “How One Percent of the One Percent Now Dominate Our Elections” - Andy Kroll,
“Is Lobbying a Moral Choice? ” - Ginger Grant

Status and Conspicuous Consumption
Readings: “What Isn’t For Sale” and “What Money Can’t Buy” - Michael Sandel,
“The Lessons of Bohemia” (article and lecture) - Alain de Botton
Financial Strategies and Money Ways
Readings: “Money and the Modern Mind” - John Bloom, “True Wealth” - Paul Hwoschinsky, “Experience of Prosperity” - Shakti Gawain, “Students and Money: In Their Own Words”
- University Admissions Essays, “About Getting Rich” - Joe McCracken
Money and Social Order
Readings: “Money and Social Responsibility” - Alan Reder, “The Soul of Money” - Lynne Twist,
“Death in Dean Street” in Frozen Desire- James Buchan, “The Social Meaning of Money” a nd “Special Monies” - Viviana Zelizer, “Is Gross National Happiness More Important Than GDP?”
- Josh Clark

Giving Money
Readings: “Forgive Us Our Debts” - Ben Kunkel, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property- Lewis Hyde, “Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age” - Elizabeth Kolbert, The Gift- M. Mauss
Money Ideals
Readings: “Love and Money” - Richard Rorty, “Imagining a Cashless World” - Nathan Heller,
“The Bitcoin Boom” - Maria Bustillos, “Bubble, Bubble, Fraud, and Trouble” - Paul Krugman
Future Money
“The End of the Capitalist Era” - Jeremy Rifkin, “The Future of Money” - Bernard Lietaer, “Tomorrow's Money” - Jacques Lesourne, “Money: A Valediction” - James Buchan
Beyond Money
Readings: “Worlds Without Money” - Michael Phillips, “Money Wisdom” - Joe Dominguez,
“Karl Marx Yesterday and Today” - Louis Menand, “Personal Gain and the Gift of Existence”
- Jacob Needleman

Compétences à acquérir

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will be able to 1) explain the historical and ideological evolution of forms of currency, 2) analyze the philosophical questions that underlie financial market participation through fundamental and technical analysis and throughthe lens of moral philosophy, 3) discuss and write clearly and critically on individual money dilemmas and societal financial policy decisions, and
4) identify and assess relations between monetary practices and philosophical notions of the good life.

Bibliographie, lectures recommandées

Required Readings
Frozen Desire- James Buchan, Money, Money, Money - Michael Toms and Jacob Needleman (eds.),
The Ascent of Money - Niall Ferguson, Money and the Meaning of Life - Jacob Needleman

Supplemental Readings
The Philosophy of Money - G. Simmel, What Is the Meaning of Money ? - R. Droit (ed.),
Money and the Modern Mindby G. Poggi, The Social Meaning of Money - V. Zelizer,
The Morality of Money - A. Walsh,The Communist Manifesto - K. Marx and F. Engels,
The Gift - M. Mauss, Capital in the 21st Century- T. Piketty, Debt: The First 5000 Years - D. Graeber,
The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property- L. Hyde, Primitive Money - P. Einzig,
Money- Y. N. Harari


Faculté des sciences économiques et de gestion (FSEG)

61, avenue de la Forêt Noire

Formulaire de contact


Francis Munier

LICENCE - Double licence Langues étrangères appliquées (LEA) / Économie - Gestion


Logo du CNRS
Logo Établissement associé de l'Université de Strasbourg
Logo du réseau Epicur
Logo de EUCOR, Le Campus européen
Logo de l'Inserm Grand Est
Logo de l'Inria


Logo du label Bienvenue en France
Logo du programme HRS4R
Logo du programme France 2030
Logo de Service Public+


Logo de France Universités
Logo de la Ligue européenne des universités de recherche (LERU)
Logo du réseau Udice
Logo de l'Université franco-allemande