Halfway around the table, it came time for freshman Ryan Ozminkowski to report on his research.
"The world is insanely complex," he said by way of introduction, before describing to his 13 Princeton classmates and professor how he was progressing with his study of intellectual property rights.
"My goal," he said, "is still to make some kind of ideal copyright law. I'm going to come into class with a draft and get feedback."
Tackling complex topics and exploring solutions as a group is a key feature of "Capitalism, Utopia and Social Justice," the Freshman Seminar in Human Values being offered this semester. It is taught by Marc Fleurbaey, the Robert E. Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies and a professor of public affairs and the University Center for Human Values.
"The seminar connects well with my own interests in welfare economics and political philosophy," said Fleurbaey, who joined the Princeton faculty in 2011 and has taught the seminar several times. Fleurbaey, who previously held various academic positions in economics in his native France, is the author of "Fairness, Responsibility and Welfare," among other books.
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The Program of Freshman Seminars in the Residential Colleges is housed within the Office of the Dean of the College.