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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 be able to:

  • paraphrase, interpret, analyse, and criticise key concepts and arguments that philosophers (and non-philosophers) have made about capitalism and its future/alternatives;

  • contribute successfully and constructively to class discussions that advance the group’s understanding of complex issues;

  • research an important problem in the area of the course; Identify an appropriate philosophical approach to framing and addressing it, systematically develop and justify an answer of their own;

  • provide constructive peer feedback on writing to fellow student and successfully incorporate peer and instructor feedbck on intermediate writing stages;

  • work together in a team to develop and present an interesting application of concepts from the course.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars.

Class attendance is required and includes preparatory reading and comments.

Assessment method


  • Final paper (60%);

  • Team presentation (25%);

  • Intermediate writing assignments (15%).

Additional 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.


The final mark for the course is determined by the weighted average of the grades for each assessment.

A passing grade requires that both:

  1. The weighted average of the partial grades must be 5.5 or higher;
  2. Class attendance requirement is met.


Students who fail the course because they failed the final essay can submit a resit, which will be an extended essay assignment that replaces the grade for the original final essay and intermediate writing assignments.

Students who fail the course because they failed or missed the team presentation can submit a resit, which will be an individual written assignment.

It is not possible to make up for the attendance requirement.

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 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 right information bar.

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


Not applicable.