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Grant number: AQ-248242-16

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St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN 55057-1574)
Michael Fuerstein (Project Director: September 2015 to present)

NEH Enduring Questions Course on Value in the Marketplace

The development and teaching of a new upper-level undergraduate course to examine the marketplace critically and morally.

Market values are at once the source of, and solution to, many of the world’s greatest challenges. This course enables students to examine the marketplace critically and morally. We begin by considering the ethics associated with trade, and by situating wealth within broader philosophical notions of what makes life worthwhile. Because private ownership is at the heart of much market ideology, we consider John Locke’s The 2nd Treatise of Government in relation to works such as Madhavi Sunder’s From Goods to a Good Life. At the course’s core is Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, which considers consequences of material markets, including their moral implications. Central to this discussion are markets for surrogate mothers and kidney purchases and how market behavior plays out in family life. Polarizing ideologies dominate current discourse about the marketplace. This course enables learners to investigate values they do not hold as they weigh social, economic and personal choices.

Project fields:
Ethics; History of Philosophy

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Education Programs

Total amounts:
$19,945 (approved)
$19,945 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2016 – 6/30/2019