Hi everyone! Sorry I have not been posting to the blog the last week I will resume shortly.
I just am writing to update information on the philosophy classes I am offering this fall. I have had exciting enrollments in a couple of the classes and want to extend the window for offering them. By request, I am also canceling one section no one enrolled for and replacing it with another to meet a prospective student’s request. Each course is $16/hour for a 40 hour commitment. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about more details or to register outright.
1. The newly announced class is Ethics and it will run Tuesday and Thursday mornings (Eastern Time) from 9am-11am Eastern Time, from October 8 to December 19.
2. The other Ethics class began on this past Tuesday night (9/16) and went wonderfully. We already had 4 students and at least two (and possibly three) more students who will be adding to the class next week. This weekend, I am offering to do make up sessions to catch those students up with what we did last Tuesday. If you too still want to join that Tuesday night 8pm-11pm Eastern Time class, there is still time to do so! For no extra cost I will even make up what you missed either this weekend or next, to help you out.
3. The Thursday night 8pm-11pm Eastern Time Nietzsche has been postponed to start one week late to accommodate one of the students’ need to delay the first session. So, that gives you one more week to sign up and join us for the start on September 26 having missed nothing! That course will run 13 weeks, likely ending January 3, 2014 (assuming we skip Thanksgiving Thursday and the day after Christmas).
4. I am also pushing back the start of the Philosophy For Atheists that meets on Friday nights 9-midnight Eastern Time . It will run now from September 27-December 20. So again, this means you can start next Friday having missed nothing.
5. My Enlightenment To Contemporary Philosophy course covering the fascinating and wide varied developments in Philosophy from the 1600s and ending in the present day has essentially been postponed to start in October. This course will run for 2 hours a week on Tuesdays from 11am-1pm for the time being. It may also move to Sundays noon-2pm, so please sign up if you’re flexible.
6. Finally, in October I am looking to start once weekly 3 hour long weekend classes that will run into January. I am very flexible on when to hold them on Sundays (preferably) or Saturdays. But I need your input! Write me at email@example.com to let me know what you want to take and when you want to take it and I’ll announce something (or a couple things) in a week or two! The full descriptions of the available courses are at the bottom of this post.
Before I get to course descriptions though, here’s a testimonial I gratefully received from one of my students, the lovely and talented atheist singer songwriter Shelley Segal:
I first learnt of Dan when he shared my music on his blog in 2011. Since then we stayed in touch and I even did an interview for his blogathon (see here)
This year I read about Dan’s philosophy classes and I decided to give it a try. I have to say that it very quickly became the best part of my week. It was such a privilege to have Dan and his wisdom right on my own computer screen
The topics we discussed were stimulating and fullfilling. We could ask questions and it felt like a conversation as much as a class. If you have any desire to learn about philosophy, for a way to keep expanding and growing your mind even with a busy week of work, I can’t recommend his classes enough. His class always made me feel challenged, inspired and ready to face the rest of the week.
I took the ‘Philosophy for Atheists’ class. It helped me to better understand the philosophy behind the beliefs I used to hold and the values that I hold now. I hope you get a chance to experience his classes and if you can’t, you can always read his blog
Detailed descriptions of each course:
PHILOSOPHY FOR ATHEISTS
NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS for Friday nights 9pm-12am Eastern Time September 27-December 20, 2013. I am also accepting suggestions of weekend times to offer this course and have it start in October 2013.
This is a flexible course, responsive to student interests, which has three primary objectives it meets. (1) It introduces major topics in philosophy in a way accessible to philosophical novices. (2) It overviews important areas of historical philosophy with which generally educated people should be familiar. (3) It analyzes major issues in theology and philosophy of religion from an openminded but generally skeptical, atheistic perspective and trains students hoping to engage with theists in counter-apologetic ideas and strategies. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required or will be assumed. There is no college credit whatsoever given for taking this course. There is no college credit whatsoever given for taking this course.
Thursday nights 8-11pm Eastern Time from September 26-January 3, 2014 (13 week course). NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS, INQUIRE AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS @ GMAIL. I am also accepting suggestions of weekend times to offer this course and have it start in October 2013.
This course, which draws heavily on my years working on Nietzsche in preparation of my doctoral dissertation, begins with an overview lecture on Nietzsche’s philosophy that integrates his thoughts on numerous topics into a coherent overall picture. From there students are assigned portions of various key books Nietzsche wrote and then during class periods we read sections aloud together and as a group we discuss them, and whatever broader themes they raise, in an open-ended way. Students are encouraged (though not required) to select for themselves some of the sections for discussion based on what they find most stimulating in the readings. No prior knowledge of philosophy or Nietzsche is required or will be assumed. There is no college credit whatsoever given for taking this course.
NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS. INQUIRE AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS @ GMAIL. I am also accepting suggestions of weekend times to offer this course and have it start in October 2013.
Tuesdays 8pm-11pm Eastern Time from September 17-December 10. (13 week course) (With free make up session available to students who missed the September 17 inaugural class period).
This course will explore major ethical traditions in the history of (primarily) 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) whether, or in what ways, we might say morality is real or unreal, objective or subjective, a matter of transcendent truth or of cultural or individual construction, etc.
(i) whether there can be such a thing as moral knowledge and, if so, how it might prove itself.
(j) the nature of moral language and whether it even intends to refer to facts or whether it aims at something wholly different.
(k) the meaning and ethical value or disvalue of power
(l) how we should go about resolving difficult moral dilemma cases
(m) how we should make moral sense of findings in contemporary moral psychology
(n) 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
(o) 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.
No prior knowledge of philosophy or moral philosophy is required or will be assumed. There is no college credit whatsoever given for taking this course.
To express interest in this class please fill out this survey.
FROM PLATO TO AQUINAS PHILOSOPHY
This course is not currently scheduled but I am accepting suggestions of weekend times to offer this course and have it start in October 2013.
This course looks at the history of philosophy from Plato through the Middle Ages. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required. Write firstname.lastname@example.org to register or to get more information and/or please fill out this survey.
FROM THE ENLIGHTENMENT TO CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENT INQUIRIES AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS@GMAIL.COM. This course is currently set to run starting October 1 on Tuesdays 11am-1pm but may shift to Sundays noon-2pm. I am also accepting suggestions of weekend times to offer this course and have it start in October 2013.
This course covers the wide ranging developments in philosophy by focusing on the great thinkers, movements, and cutting edge developments in philosophy from the 1600s to the present day. This course looks at the history of philosophy from Plato through the Middle Ages. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required. Write email@example.com to register or to get more information and/or please fill out this survey.