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Capitalism and Beyond


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including: Political Philosophy.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


Capitalism dominates the modern world. Is this a good thing? Is there any alternative? This course investigates key philosophical arguments about capitalism by classic authors such as Rousseau, Adam Smith, Marx, Schumpeter, and Keynes as well as more contemporary writers like Fred Hirsch, G.A. Cohen, Philip van Parijs, and David Graeber.

The course is divided into three parts: For, Against and Beyond capitalism, each of which will have a corresponding essay assignment.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • key philosophical arguments about capitalism.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the arguments that philosophers have made about capitalism and its future/alternatives .


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required and includes preparatory reading and small written assignments.

Assessment method


  • Essay I (33%)

  • Essay II (33%)

  • Final essay (34%)


The final mark for the course is determined by (i) the weighted average of the three essays combined with (ii) the class attendance requirement.


Students can resit an essay assignment if their overall grade for the entire course is 5 or less. It is not possible to make up for the attendance requirement.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

Students will have an opportunity to discuss the grading of their essays with the instructor.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available on Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. T.R. Wells


Not applicable.