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2017/2018  KAN-CPHIO3008U  Money, Finance and Philosophy

English Title
Money, Finance and Philosophy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Ole Bjerg - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Finance
  • Economics
Last updated on 27-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: After completing the course students should:
  • be familiar with different theories on money creation covered in class
  • be able to reflect critically about the nature and functioning of markets, banks and debt
  • be able to think and theorize about money in a crossdisciplinary fashion
  • be able to reflect about the differences between conflicting theories about the origins, history and functioning of money
  • be familiar with alternative models of money, finance and banking
  • understand the concept of financialization and its implications for doing business today
Money, Finance and Philosophy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

The course has two elements. First of all students are introduced to different theories of the origin, history, nature and functioning of money. These include theories from economics, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. These accounts are contrasted with conventional understandings of money in mainstream economics. It is also discussed how different theories of money imply different understandings of banks, markets, credit, debt and interest.

Second, we apply these theories in the analysis of concrete cases and problems such as financial crises, quantitative easing, negative interest rates, sustainability, cryptocurrencies, local currencies, etc. 


Teaching methods
The course consist in a combination of different forms of teaching: Traditional lecturing, case based teaching and student exercises.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is provided through discussion based on cases and exercises solved by the students in each class. Students also have the opportunity to come in my office hours
Student workload
Lectures 33 hours
Exam 10 hours
Preparation 164 hours
Expected literature

Bjerg, Ole. 2014. Making Money - The Philosophy of Crisis Capitalism. London: Verso.

Brunnermeier, Markus K. 2009. ‘Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007–2008’. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 23 (1): 77–100.

Gabor, Daniela, and Jakob Vestergaard. 2016. ‘Towards a Theory of Shadow Money’. INET Working Paper. https:/​/​ineteconomics.org/​uploads/​papers/​Towards_Theory_Shadow_Money_GV_INET.pdf.

Hudson, Michael. 2015. Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy. ISLET.

Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money. Cambridge: Polity.

Lazzarato, Maurizio. 2015. Governing by Debt. Translated by Joshua David Jordan. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext.

Luyendijk, Joris. 2016. Swimming with Sharks: Inside the World of the Bankers. Main edition. Place of publication not identified: Guardian Faber Publishing.

Mellor, Mary. 2015. Debt or Democracy: Public Money for Sustainability and Social Justice. Pluto Press.

Minsky, Hyman P. 1992. ‘The Financial Instability Hypothesis’. The Jerome Levy Economics Institute Working Paper, no. 74. http:/​/​papers.ssrn.com/​sol3/​Papers.cfm?abstract_id=161024.

Nakamoto, Satoshi. 2008. ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’. www.bitcoin.org.

North, Peter. 2010. Local Money: How to Make It Happen in Your Community. Totnes: Transition Books.

The Economist. 2012. ‘QE, or Not QE?’, July 14. http:/​/​www.economist.com/​node/​21558596.

———. 2013. ‘How Does Bitcoin Work?’, April 11. http:/​/​www.economist.com/​bitcoinexplained.

———. 2015. ‘What Is Quantitative Easing?’, March 9. http:/​/​www.economist.com/​blogs/​economist-explains/​2015/​03/​economist-explains-5.

Werner, Richard A. 2014. ‘How Do Banks Create Money, and Why Can Other Firms Not Do the Same? An Explanation for the Coexistence of Lending and Deposit-Taking’. International Review of Financial Analysis 36 (December): 71–77. doi:10.1016/​j.irfa.2014.10.013.

Last updated on 27-06-2017