INTR 333 Money (Same as Religion 333) (Not offered 2004-2005)

What is money? Where is money? Does money exist? We live in a culture obsessed with money but, when we pause to think about it, money becomes very elusive. As the medium of exchange has morphed from things, to precious metals, to paper, to electronic bits, currency has undergone a process of dematerialization or virtualization. While few would deny the "reality" of money, what that reality is and how it works its material effects is difficult to determine. To understand money, economic analysis is necessary but not sufficient; it is also necessary to examine the complex problem of representation as it is articulated in philosophy, psychology, art, and religion. This course will take a thoroughly cross-disciplinary approach to the question of money. Works to be considered include: Edgar Allan Poe, "The Gold Bug," Karl Marx, Capital, Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death, Jean-Joseph Goux, Symbolic Economies, Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money, Jacques Derrida, Counterfeit Money, Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death, Lawrence Weschler, Boggs: A Comedy of Values, George Soros, The Alchemy of Finance and Elinor Solomon, Virtual Money. Format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: mid-term exam and final paper. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 25 (expected: 25). Preference given to juniors and seniors. Satisfies one semester of Division II requirement. This course may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.