Course Objective

The aim of this course is to learn to recognize moral dilemmas in
practical situations (Bridging Theory and Practice - Application), to
learn how to critically reflect on and discuss these dilemmas
(Broadening your Horizon), to make an informed judgment based on ethical
theories and methods of analysis (Academic and Research Skills), gaining
insight into the strong aspects and restrictions of economic thinking
(Bridging Theory and Practice - Knowledge) and the incorporation of
these insights into an academic essay (Academic and Research Skills).
The end terms of the course are the following:
- you learn to recognize and understand the moral aspect of concrete
economically relevant issues as a dilemma;
- you learn how to analyze these dilemmas with the help of ethical
- you gain insight into the moral dimension of economic theories;
- you learn to participate in a scientific debate regarding these moral
- you learn to translate the theoretical debate into concrete (policy)
- you learn how to make a well-founded assessment of the dilemmas based
on your ethical analysis;
- you learn to articulate these insights and judgment in an academic
- you learn to articulate these insights and the well-founded judgment
in an article in media accessible to a wide audience.

Course Content

Many economic issues have an ethical/moral component. Think of the
supposed self-enrichment of managers, accounting fraud at large
companies, issues of income inequality between the rich Western
countries and, for example, many countries in Africa, the operations of
multinationals in developing countries, and the fight against poverty.
In this course your moral intuitions are sharpened and further developed
by making use of ethical theories. Actual economic issues will be
analyzed from a moral perspective. The way in which the market economy
is based on moral principles is discussed. The relationship between law
and morality is discussed and the function of "institutions" in the
pursuit of a just society will be addressed. Also more or less
philosophical questions are raised about the liability and
responsibility of a company, the role of the government in society and
the personal moral awareness and conscience of each market participant.
The course forms an integral part of the entire Economy and Business
Economy program. You learn to recognize the possibilities but also the
boundaries of economic science and you get an in-depth insight into the
extent to which economic knowledge that is taught in other classes is
based upon moral concepts.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and seminars (tutorials).

Method of Assessment

Written exam: individual assessment.
Group assignment: group assessment.
Article: individual assessment.


Michael Sandel (2010), Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?. New York:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2010. ISBN 9780374532505.
Translation in Dutch: Michael Sandel, Rechtvaardigheid. Wat is de juiste
keuze? Ten Have, 2010.

René ten Bos and Mollie Painter-Morland (2011). Business Ethics and
Continental Philosophy Cambridge UP.
Translation in Dutch: René ten Bos en Mollie Painter-Morland (2013).
Bedrijfsethiek. Filosofische perspectieven. Boom Uitgevers Amsterdam.

General Information

Course Code E_EBE2_ETHI
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator prof. dr. J.F.D.B. Wempe
Examiner prof. dr. J.F.D.B. Wempe
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: