In 2013, I intend to start teaching students privately online for a much more affordable price than the average college class. I intend to help former religious believers interested in exploring the possibilities for reason-based answers to philosophical questions about the nature of ethics, knowledge, metaphysics, the mind, and the self. In particular I hope to spend time systematically exploring questions about whether ethics has rational foundations or not, what sorts of principles are best for making ethical decisions, what it means to live an excellent, meaningful, and ethical life, and how we should best go about answering thorny real world questions about biomedical ethics, business ethics, and socio-political ethics.
I want to expose atheists to really practical philosophers who present robust, secular alternatives for thinking deeply about how to be a good person and live a good life. I want to help the average atheist improve his or her grasp of the basics of philosophy so that they are better at cutting through the philosophical smokescreens of religious apologists. I want to spend time reading Nietzsche and showing people all the fascinating insights that I found during my process of deconversion and then during the arduous scholarly process of writing my dissertation on his moral philosophy and ideas about truth. I would also like to meet the needs of the many readers who ask me about where they should turn to try to catch up with philosophy so that they can better understand and situate the philosophical ideas they read on Camels With Hammers.
From a personal standpoint, I want to be part of the online educational revolution, gain more independence and flexibility as a teacher, work more from home so that I have more time to write Camels With Hammers (and a book), and have the exciting chance to work extensively with self-motivated learners and, in particular, many of my Camels With Hammers readers and Facebook friends.
Every time I get nine people who can all commit to the same weekly two hour period and who are interested in the same topic, I will start a twenty week class (with two free makeup sessions open even to people with perfect attendance) with those people. If after two trial weeks, people who change their minds can drop. Otherwise, they’ll agree to pay for and complete the whole twenty weeks. If students are still excited after twenty weeks, we can keep going deeper into our topic or change topics or merge interested students with interested students from another ending class. In future semesters, if these courses take off, I will be able to add increasing schedule flexibility. But right now, I can at least offer busy people the convenience of potential weekend and late weeknight time slots.
These courses would start any week or month throughout the year that I have the people and the time for a full class. Courses would be only $15 an hour for 40 hours and would be carried out with Google’s interactive Hangout video conferencing software. You and your 8 fellow participants would be on video with me for a private lecture and copious amounts of vigorous, probing class discussion. There will be no grades and no college credit whatsoever.
I am also amenable to doing one-on-one sessions of philosophical counseling, classes, or tutoring, at a rate of $75/hour with no long term commitments necessary.
I have a PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University and 10 years of teaching experience. I have taught 82 sections of Philosophy. In 2005, based on student voting, I earned the Fordham University Graduate Student Association’s Teaching Fellow of the Year award. I am an adjunct assistant professor and an APPA certified philosophical practitioner. I currently teach matriculated college courses at Hunter College City of New York, Hofstra University, William Paterson University, and Fairfield University. In the past I have also taught at Fordham University and St. John’s University.
Below is a survey for anyone at all interested in taking these courses–whether in the near or long term. As part of the survey you will see the potential classes, with descriptions, and you can rate your interest in them. Or inquire directly at my camelswithhammers @ gmail address if you are interested in one-on-one philosophical counseling or lessons. I will post more about the option of philosophical counseling in the future.