Civilisation studies for the way we live now

Monash U will offer a politics, philosophy and economics degree from next year

Monash U joins La Trobe, UWA and ANU in offering PPE degrees, which examine big ideas (generally from thinkers in Europe and the Anglo-sphere) to consider where our economic and social structures came from, where we are now and what’s next. Oxford U, where PPE degrees, started suggests, “PPE was born of the conviction that study of the great modern works of economic, social, political and philosophical thought would have a transformative effect on students’ intellectual lives, and thereby on society at large.”

The Monash degree covers the “big ideas” in PPE, “that have shaped the world and the emerging ideas that seek to alter it.” It includes a study tour, to, “gain first-hand knowledge of the forces shaping the coming century and the diverse philosophical ideas emerging to interpret this change.”

This, says a learned reader, is a superior study of western civilisation. Understanding the achievements and otherwise of the western world’s public culture needs reading from Locke and Hume, Burke and Marx and studying the ideas they put on the eternal agenda. “Reading the Federalist Papers beats Middlemarch,” a learned reader remarks.


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