What exactly is money, and how does it relate to morality? In this course, we will think about moral meaning of money with the help of sources both ancient and modern, from the Bible and Aristotle to Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. The ancient Greeks and Jews were wary of wealth and its potential for moral corruption whereas modern capitalist thinkers often tie prosperity positively to virtue and progress. How can we account for this apparent disagreement? How do we assess capitalism’s miraculous advances and its attendant potential vices? These questions do not have easy or simple answers, but through our readings and discussions we will come to understand different conceptions of wealth, money, and commerce and the role they play in private lives and public order.
Daniel Gutkind is a fourth year at the University of Chicago, where he studies Economics and Fundamentals. He worked for Guggenheim Partners in their investment banking division this past summer and will be joining the firm full-time in the fall. He was a Tikvah Summer Fellow in 2018, for which he wrote a report on the relationship between Jewish identity and American citizenship. Daniel has led Tikvah reading groups at the University of Chicago and Oxford and previously taught and co-taught courses for Tikvah Online Academy on Zionism and on the American economy.
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Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.