My first semester of independent, non-matriculated, online philosophy classes using Google Hangout is coming to an end, with two great classes wrapped up already and one more due to end Saturday. It has been an extraordinarily good experience for me and, from all indications, for the students too. I am also full swing into several successful summer courses too. What I am thinking of doing from here on out is starting up one new course at a time each month in which I have sufficient interest. If you are interested in having me take your own interests and your own personal schedule into consideration when planning courses that would start in August, September, or later, please fill out this survey.
Starting next Friday and ending in November, I will be running a non-matriculated online course that I call “Practical Ethics”. The course will run Friday evenings in the eastern time zone from 5:15-7:45pm until September and then it will start running 5:45pm-7:45pm to accommodate by fall teaching schedule at CUNY City College. The course will run for 40 class hours and cost just $16 an hour.
This course will explore major ethical traditions in the history of Western thought and raise many lively topics in applied ethics for open-ended discussion. The topics, both preplanned and spontaneously discussed, will often vary with both the stated and manifested interests of the course participants. Expected topics will likely include
(a) what it means to live a good life
(b) how we should understand the natures of various virtues and vices
(c) how we should determine what legitimately binding moral rules are
(d) what makes for a good person and/or a good action
(e) how we should deal with the problems that cultural relativism poses to moral legitimacy
(f) what the proper roles are for the emotions, pleasure, autonomy, social relationships, consequences, and other moral factors in our best moral reasoning
(g) the interactions between religion, atheism, death, meaning, and ethics
(h) how we should go about resolving difficult moral dilemma cases
(i) how we should make moral sense of findings in contemporary moral psychology
(j) how we should understand the relevance of nature (including the fact that we are products of evolution) to our understanding of who we are and what our ethics should be
(k) how we might answer difficult contemporary “applied ethics” problems that arise in modern society that concern gender, sexuality, technology, medicine, social change, criminal justice, animal rights, political economy, etc.
For much more information on the courses I offer and what my experience teaching them has been like, see this post. To sign up for the course all you have to do is e-mail me at camelswithhammers at gmail dot com. I look forward to hearing from you!