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Through the initiative of the Philosophy Department, a new interdisciplinary major entitled Philosophy, Politics and Economics will be offered this coming fall term, Philosophy Department Chairperson Gary Hatfield said this week. Philosophy Professor Paul Guyer said the idea of the PP and E major first arose several years ago in the philosophy department and was negotiated with the Political Science and Economics Departments over the past year. Guyer described the major as "an integrated approach to the analysis of society and social issues." The major involves a core of nine courses, three from each department. One of the philosophy department's three courses, entitled "The Social Contract," was specially created for the major, Hatfield said. After taking the core requirement, students must then take four courses in the concentration of their choice, corresponding to the departments, and one additional course in the other two departments. The major is topped off by a seminar specially designed for the PP and E major to be taken in the fall of senior year. An optional honors thesis also exists. Guyer said this week that the major was created for many reasons. "These disciplines take somewhat different approaches to common problems and issues," Guyer said. "All too often, people in one discipline don't take notice of information in the other disciplines." Instead of isolating each subject area, Guyer said they want to make an integrated approach to these disciplines available. Guyer has recently learned from College of Arts and Sciences advisors that many students have created individualized majors similar to PP and E. "There are a large number of students going into legal careers and government careers, and this integrated approach answers a desired need," he said. Professor of Economics and Law Michael Wachter said the major will provide good training for law school. "[The PP and E major] allows for an understanding in how our legal system works and jurisprudential law," Wachter said this week. "You can do law and economics without this major, but if you would like to add the philosophical theory perspective, this major is perfect." The major is based on existing majors at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, but Hatfield said that the University's major is more "thoroughly integrated." Guyer said he does not know how popular the program will be but said there has already been a "considerable amount" of inquiries into the major.

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