Philosophy, Political Science and Economics (PPE) is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary degree that analyzes the structure, philosophical and economic principles of modern society. With a major or minor in PPE from MacMurray College, graduates of the program will be able to understand and successfully navigate complex and challenging political, legal and economic systems that are present in the 21st century. MacMurray's PPE program is intentionally designed to achieve certain clear vocational ends including giving our graduates an advantage when being accepted to their first choice in law schools and being exceptionally well prepared for earning a law degree; engaging in local, national and international political systems as lobbyists, analysts and strategic planning specialists; and becoming successful economic advisors to corporations, non-profits and as individual wealth advisors.
What makes our program different from others?
- Our specialized faculty work together with our students to advise, teach, mentor and place them on the right career path.
- Students have incredible internship opportunities just down the road in Springfield, the heart of Illinois government, as well as in the Jacksonville area.
- An interdisciplinary major gives students multiple learning paths that allow them to tailor the curriculum to fit their own needs and desires.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students majoring in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics will be able to:
- demonstrate skills in oral communication by presenting their views in formal class debates and presentations as well as informal class discussions;
- demonstrate analytical skills that produce independently researched, well-argued and well-written papers across a variety of disciplines;
- demonstrate the ability to work across disciplines, by applying multiple theories, perspectives and methodologies to a given issue;
- demonstrate a deep understanding of the global, national and local economic and political issues that will confront our society;
- demonstrate an ability to describe and apply various moral and philosophical theories and how to explain the ethical dimensions of politics and economics;
- become policy literate and demonstrate an understanding of political institutions, processes and actors, as well as the ability to analyze political interactions within a national, international, and global framework;
- demonstrate an understanding of basic theories of philosophy, political science, and economics.
Opportunities in PPE give students the freedom to handcraft their own learning experience while also gaining hands-on learning experience outside of the classroom.
Students are able to work alongside faculty on research projects or find an internship with local political, legal and economic organizations. Students can also take part in co-curricular activities, such as starting a Model United Nations club or a Pre-Law club, and volunteer opportunities within the community.
BUSA 221. Statistics for Business. (3) Analysis of statistical theories and techniques and their applications for decision making in the social sciences. No prerequisite.
ECON 210. Principles of Macroeconomics. (3) Studies the economy as a whole dealing with economic data, behavior, and theory at the aggregate level of the economy. Examines income, employment, prices, and other variables in terms of their measurement, determination, and policy implications. No prerequisite.
ECON 220. Principles of Microeconomics. (3) Studies demand, supply, price formation, and production decisions. Examines the individual and interrelated behavior of consumers, firms, and industries. No prerequisite.
ECON 305. Money and Banking. (3) Basic principles of banking, monetary, and international financial systems, with particular emphasis on monetary theory and policy. Prerequisite: ECON 210.
ECON 350. Political Economy. (3) Political Economy explores economic and political paradigms for analyzing relations between the state, the economy, and society. Through readings, lectures and discussion of original texts in political liberalism and individualism, neo-classical economics, Marxism, sociological and cultural theories, and neo-institutionalism, the course examines the fundamental assumptions on which our understanding of economic and political realities are based.
PHIL 103. Introduction to Philosophy. (3) A survey of basic problems in philosophy: the nature of reality, the reaches of human knowledge, the quest for identity, the relation of mind and body, freedom and necessity, definitions of truth, and various conceptions of the good life.
PHIL 220. Contemporary Ethical Problems. (3) An introduction to ethical methodology and its practical application to contemporary problems. Current issues to be explored may include pornography, sexual ethics, affirmative action, criminal justice, abortion, and the environment.
PHIL 310. Philosophy of Law. (3) An examination of fundamental issues in the philosophy of law, including the origin, evolution, and current status of law in the West. Issues to be explored will include the relationship between morality and the law, theories of punishment and reform, theories of justice, and the obligation to obey the law or dissent from the law.
PHIL 312. Social and Political Philosophy. (3) Humans are social beings and work and live in political communities, yet we have different values, moral rules, and views on how resources are distributed. We argue about how to organize, who should lead us, equality, when or if we should fight each other, issues of race and gender, and the limits of religion. These are the concerns of social and political philosophy. This course will serve as an introduction to social and political philosophy looking at these issues and others through the work of such intellectual giants as Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Mill, Hobbes, Marx, Hume, Rawls, De Beauvoir, and a slate of more contemporary figures concerned with social justice in pluralistic globalized societies.
POLS 100. Intro to Political Science. (3) A survey of the discipline of political science designed to introduce students to important theories, concepts, and issues in the study of political behavior, methodology, and processes. The course will cover many areas, including political theory, research methods, American government, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, and international relations.
POLS 200. International Relations (Politics). (3) An introduction to world politics, with an emphasis on conflict and compromise at the international level but also considering domestic political interactions with global consequences. Students learn how the discipline of political science analyzes international relations in a variety of policy areas.
POLS 203. American Government (Politics). (3) A survey of national government and the political process in the United States, with emphasis on the Constitution, the President, Congress, and the judicial system.
POLS 303. Political Theory. (3) An introduction to modern political thought making an analysis of the meaning of democracy, citizenship, justice, authority, and identity. Readings and discussions center on the themes and ideologies dominant in Western political theory, but also will explore contemporary challenges to that tradition, such as feminist political theory and the rise of First-nation peoples.
Dr. Eric Berg
Professor of Philosophy
“I love teaching at MacMurray because of the Students! They ask great questions, make me laugh, and work hard in and outside of the classroom.”
- Areas of interest: Dr. Berg specializes in the 20th century French intellectual Albert Camus. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Albert Camus Society and is the book review editor for The Journal of Camus Studies. In addition to Camus, Dr. Berg holds a strong interest in the thought of Martin Luther and Martin Heidegger. Outside of the academy; Baseball is his second greatest love, after his wife, Christy.
- Ph.D. in Philosophy – The University of Kansas
- M.A. in Theory and Doctrine – Luther Seminary
- B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science – Minnesota State University-Moorhead
- Courses taught: The Ancient and Classical World, Philosophy of Religion, Contemporary Ethic, Introduction to Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, 19th and 20th Century Philosophy, Philosophy of Sport, Albert Camus, Leadership Ethics, Philosophy Through Film, First Year Experience: The Beauty of Baseball, Rhetoric 102: Indigenous Persons, Business Ethics, Introduction to Logic.
There are many internship opportunities at the federal and state levels, like working with representatives, senators, judges and support agencies both public and private, as well as within private industries such as banks, economic development agencies, non-governmental political organizations, political action committees, research institutions, campaign positions at all levels, law firms and legal research facilities.