Uses of Economics, Craufurd Goodwin, Duke University, Spring 2011

This course engages the history of economics in that it identifies "styles" of doing economics that have historical roots, from the philosophical/theological style of Aristotle and Aquinas to the modern core found in textbooks such as that by Mas-Colell, Whinston, and Green. The course examines different segments of society--the media, government, the economics discipline itself, among others--and observes how economics is used in those segments and to what extent one or more of the styles are present. The syllabus contains detailed instructions for the writing assignments, including a long list of prompts designed to help students select an appropriate paper topic.