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Capitalism and Beyond


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Filosofie, who have successfully completed at least 70 ECTS credits of the mandatory components of the first and second year of their bachelor’s programme, including History of Modern Philosophy, History of Political Philosophy or Griekse en Romeinse filosofie, Ethiek, Politieke filosofie / Political Philosophy.

  • BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives, who have successfully completed at least 70 ECTS credits of the mandatory components of the first and second year of their bachelor’s programme, including World Philosophies: Greek and Roman Antiquity, World Philosophies: Modern Europe, Ethics, Political Philosophy.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement and who have to complete an advanced seminar, to be selected from package B.


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

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.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required and includes preparatory reading and comments.

Assessment method


  • Intermediate assignment: 40%

  • Final paper: 60%

Further requirements:

  • Class attendance requirement: students absent for more than 3 classes will not be allowed to take the final essay and will not be allowed to pass the course. This also applies to students who do not make up the reading assignments for all missed classes by the end of the teaching period.

  • Students must receive at least a 5.5 for the final essay in order to pass the course


The final mark for the course is determined by (i) the weighted average of the intermediate assignment and final paper (see above), combined with (ii) the class attendance requirement.


Students can resit an essay assignment if their overall grade for the entire course is 5.5 or less. It is not possible to make up for the attendance requirement.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is not possible for this course. Students are requested to submit their preferences for the third-year electives by means of an online registration form. They will receive the instruction and online registration form by email (uMail account); in June for courses scheduled in semester 1, and in December for courses scheduled in semester 2. Registration in uSis will be taken care of by the Education Administration Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.