Here’s The Fall 2014 Schedule! Enroll Today in My Online Philosophy Classes!

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Dr. Daniel Fincke, PhD Interactive Online Philosophy Classes

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New Classes Starting the first week of September!

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I have a PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University. I taught over 2,450 students spread across 93 sections of Philosophy during 11 years in university classrooms. In 2005, based on student voting, I earned the Fordham University Graduate Student Association’s Teaching Fellow of the Year award. Now I use interactive video conferencing technology (Google Hangout) to offer affordable, non-matriculated, private philosophy classes to people around the world who are interested in independent learning.

Here is a list of links to course descriptions and times for each class I teach. Followed by an FAQ which covers all the basic information about how classes work.

Online Philosophy Class Dr Daniel FinckeDr Daniel Fincke Online Philosophy Class EthicsOnline Philosophy of Religion Class Dr Daniel FinckeOnline Philosophy Class Nietzsche Dr Daniel FinckeOnline Introduction to Philosophy Class Dr Daniel FinckeOnline Philosophy Class Mind Language Dr Daniel FinckeOnline History of Philosophy Class Dr Daniel FinckeSocial and Poltiical Online Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

What is the class format?
How long do classes run?
How do these classes compare to MOOCs?
Is there any way to get college credit for these courses.
Is any prior background in philosophy necessary? 
What are the prices?
How do I sign up? What is the current schedule of class times?

WHAT IS THE CLASS FORMAT?

The way these classes work is that you and your fellow participants video conference with me for a private face to face lecture. We use Google Hangout, a user-friendly, reliable service that takes just seconds to download and get started with. Classes typically feature anywhere from 1-6 students. The maximum enrollment in any class is 9. We interact in real time class discussions that allow for personalized attention for every student. Since classes are small group discussions, they are organically customized to the students’ interests. They constantly evolve with the students’ own thought processes in interaction with the course material. There is also no pressure to talk if you don’t feel like it but would rather learn more from listening to the conversations between me and your classmates.

HOW LONG DO CLASSES RUN?

All class sections meet only once a week and last 2.5 hours. They run for as many weeks as students remain interested in exploring their topics. With a Platinum Pass students can study with us for the equivalent of a full traditional college class (40 hours class time spread over ~16-20 weeks, depending on student absences and occasional class cancellations). With a Silver Pass students can study with us for the equivalent of half a traditional college class (20 hours class time spread over ~8-10 weeks depending on student absences and occasional class cancellations). After 16 sessions students can continue in their same classes or move to others. Students expecting to want to go more than 16 sessions (in either one class or by taking multiple classes) are recommended to purchase a Gold Pass for maximum long term value.

Students are most welcome to join a class in progress, using any kind of pass, and I will extend its length to feature enough material (or some repeat material they missed if starting students leave early) in order to go more than just 16 weeks. For any class topic there is always that’s worth exploring more than can be fit in a traditional single semester.

HOW DO THESE CLASSES COMPARE TO MOOCs?

My classes are the polar opposite of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which are notorious for their high attrition rates, low student engagement, and minimal direct contact with professors. In my classes, you get all the benefits of a traditional small college class directly learning from a scholar who takes the time to treat you as an individual and work through your individual thought process as you work through the ideas. There are no reading requirements and there is no homework. Students interested in supplementing their learning with extra reading work are given reading suggestions. But these are never necessary for full class participation. I explain all the concepts students need to engage fruitfully.

In no small part because of factors like these, my classes slot as easily as possible into busy people’s lives. They only take a 2.5 hour time commitment weekly and they consist of stimulating, lively, interpersonal engagement with other smart people. They’re both intellectually and socially enjoyable with minimum pressure or demands involved. Students also do not have to worry about wasting paid time with absences. They can make up time they’ve paid for in later sessions for no extra cost, or in another course in the future if necessary.

The result of all these factors is that my classes have satisfyingly low attrition rates, high student engagement, and students who regularly come back for more classes.

And if you’re not happy after the first two class sessions, all you need to do is tell me you want a refund of the unused time on your pass and you’ll get one.

CAN YOU GET CREDIT FOR THESE CLASSES?

These classes are NOT eligible for any college credit whatsoever. They are for people interested in learning for other reasons than college credit. I teach them with the same quality of material and instruction that I used to teach college classes with. But when teaching on my own, my classes are not accredited by any body.

IS ANY PRIOR BACKGROUND IN PHILOSOPHY NECESSARY?

No prior knowledge of philosophy is required to take any of the classes. Each class is designed to be rigorous and deep enough for the advanced student and accessible enough for the introductory student. I don’t assume background knowledge in lectures and I adjust my depth level to the needs and abilities of the students present as we go. A student could profitably start or advance their study of philosophy with any of the courses offered. My experience is that both advanced and new students to philosophy have much to offer each other in class discussions.

If you have any questions remaining about how classes work, please e-mail me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com to inquire about more details or to enroll for classes today.

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Below are the prices and policies effective August 3, 2014. Returning students and students who signed up for the fall before August 3 are still subject to the previous pricing systems and policies. All students may request an installment plan if they cannot pay upfront. All paying students are welcome to have their partner, roommate, friends, or others share their computer screen and participate in class with them.

Bronze Pass buys an individualized guaranteed 1-on-1, 1 hour philosophy lesson of the student’s desired length and at the student’s and my mutual convenience for $39.99/hr, with no further commitment to take any more sessions. Buy multiple Bronze Passes in advance to reserve a weekly time slot for ongoing 1-on-1 sessions if you want them.
 Write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com for scheduling and purchases of Bronze Passes.

The Platinum Pass buys 16 sessions of group class time for just $15.99/hr. Each session of group class time is 2.5 hours long. The total comes out to $639.60 for 40 hours of group class time (the equivalent of one full standard 3 credit university course). If you withdraw after two sessions, you can receive a refund of your unused balance, minus a service fee. Select a class, register, and purchase a Platinum Pass now.

The Silver Pass buys 8 sessions of group class time for just $19.99/hr.  Each session of group class time is 2.5 hours long. The total comes out to $399.80 for  20 hours of group class time (the equivalent of one half of a standard 3 credit university course). If you withdraw after two sessions, you can receive a refund of your unused balance, minus a service fee. Select a class, register, and purchase a Silver Pass now.

The Gold Pass buys a whole year’s worth of once-weekly group class sessions for $1099. That’s a guaranteed minimum of 40 sessions (100 hours of class time) and a possible maximum of 52 sessions (130 hours of class time). The Gold Pass rate is $10.99/hr. or lower. You can attend more than this first class you are purchasing with this class, moving to other classes throughout the year. If you withdraw after two sessions, you can receive a refund of your unused balance, minus a service fee. Select your first class, register, and purchase a Gold Pass now.

Refund policy.

For students purchasing passes under the current pricing and policies instituted on August 3, 2014, there will be refunds available under the following circumstances. If you are not satisfied after attending your first session on a Silver Pass or your first two sessions on a Platinum Pass, you may withdraw and be refunded the unused balance on your pass, minus the service fees that I can’t recoup from PayPal when issuing refunds. There are no refunds after your first session on a Silver Pass or your second session on a Platinum or Gold Pass. If you attend a second session on a Silver Pass or a third session on a Platinum or Gold Pass, the only way to be eligible for a partial refund is if I prove unwilling or unable to teach the number of sessions you paid for within 13 weeks of your start date for a class you paid for with a Silver Pass, within 24 weeks of your start date for a class you paid for with a Platinum Pass, or within 52 weeks of your start date if you paid for a Gold Pass.

Register.

Course Descriptions:

Click on any class for course information, schedules, and self-registration.

Online Introduction to Philosophy Class Dr Daniel FinckeDr Daniel Fincke Online Philosophy Class EthicsOnline Philosophy Class Nietzsche Dr Daniel FinckeOnline Philosophy Class Mind Language Dr Daniel FinckeOnline Philosophy of Religion Class Dr Daniel FinckeOnline Philosophy Class Dr Daniel FinckeOnline History of Philosophy Class Dr Daniel FinckeSocial and Poltiical Online Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

Online Introduction to Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke
My Topical Introduction To Philosophy class catches up newcomers to philosophy with a wide array of philosophical concepts and some of the major figures in the history of philosophy. We study philosophical approaches to the Existence of God, Free Will and Determinism, the Mind/Body Problem, Moral Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Language, Social Philosophy (Gender, Race, etc.), Logic, and Epistemology.

Reserve your spot today for the new sections of Topical Introduction to Philosophy which start the first week of September.

Topical Introduction to Philosophy: Thursdays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Topical Introduction to Philosophy: Wednesdays 6pm-8:30pm Eastern Time
Topical Introduction to Philosophy: Sundays 5pm-7:30pm Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes.

Dr Daniel Fincke Online Philosophy Class Ethics
My Ethics class runs the full gamut of philosophical ethics, regularly alternating between highly relevant immediate impact issues in applied ethics to more foundational philosophical questions about the very nature of morality and about whether there is any hope for rational and objective answers about ethical questions.

A partial list of topics that will be covered from numerous angles includes:

(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, sexual ethics, business ethics, social change, social justice, race, political philosophy, war, religion, criminal justice, animal rights, political economy, drugs, punishment, etc.

(p) ethical problems related to current events stories

Reserve your spot today for the new sections of Ethics which start the first week of September. 

Ethics: Sundays 2:30pm-5:pm Eastern Time
Ethics: Tuesdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Ethics: Wednesdays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Ethics: Wednesdays 8pm-10:30pm Eastern Time
Ethics: Saturdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes.

Online Philosophy Class Nietzsche Dr Daniel Fincke

My Nietzsche course draws heavily on my years reading and writing about Nietzsche in preparation of my doctoral dissertation. As an orientation, new students receive a special overview lecture on Nietzsche’s philosophy that integrates his thoughts on numerous topics into a coherent overall picture. Regular class sessions are spent reading Nietzsche’s writings aloud and discussing them. Using this method, in the once weekly, year long versions of the course, we read substantial portions of numerous of his Nietzsche’s works, one book at a time, over the course of a year or longer.

As we read each text, I unriddle difficult passages, explore their philosophical implications, talk about the meaning of each text in the larger scope of Nietzsche’s thought, introduce students to concepts from relevant Nietzsche scholarship, point out debates among Nietzsche scholars and rival readings to my own, and encourage open-ended, collaborative discussion from students as inspired by the texts. The books we read from the most extensively will be Human All Too Human, Daybreak, The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, On The Genealogy of Morals, Twilight of the Idols, Antichrist, and The Will to Power. Students can join a section of the Nietzsche class any time, just as they would join a preexisting reading group. No outside reading will be required.

Reserve your spot today for the new sections of Nietzsche which start the first week of September. 

Nietzsche: Mondays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Nietzsche: Tuesdays 10pm-12:30am Eastern Time
Nietzsche: Fridays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Nietzsche: Fridays 10pm-12:30am Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes.

Online Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

Philosophy for Atheists 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 that generally educated people should be familiar with. (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. Essentially this is a hybrid between a general philosophy course, a historical philosophy course, and an atheistic philosophy of religion course.

Reserve your spot today for the new sections of Philosophy for Atheists which start the first week of September. 

Philosophy for Atheists: Sundays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Philosophy for Atheists: Mondays 10pm-12:30am Eastern Time
Philosophy for Atheists: Fridays 7pm-9:30pm Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes.

Online Philosophy Class Mind Language Dr Daniel Fincke

My Philosophy of Mind and Language class is the one most focused on contemporary philosophy. It will deal almost exclusively with the 20th-21st Century study of the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, primarily in the analytic tradition. We will start with seminal figures like Russell, Frege, and Wittgenstein, but devote most of the course to the hottest philosophy of mind and language debates of the last 40 years. We will also make room for at least a couple of weeks on the European traditions of Phenomenology, Structuralism, Poststructuralism, and Deconstructionism, all of which were ascendent in the last century.

Specifically, we will explore questions related to

(a) semantics

(b) the nature of reference

(c) the nature of consciousness

(d) what kinds of mental capacities animals might have

(e) the connection between mind and body

(f) the extent our minds are or are not like computers

(g) whether artificial intelligence can be ever have a mind or consciousness

(h) whether or not there is such a thing as a universal mental language

(i) whether or to what extent concepts and linguistic categories are innate

(j) the relationships between our mental states and the world they try to represent

(h) what constitutes the kind of mental freedom necessary to make moral responsibility legitimate

(i) the meaning and relevance of concepts like belief, desire, and pain

(j) the connections between concepts and the world

(k) the extent to which language can be said to “create” the world for us, rather than merely represent it to us

(l) whether or how science could conceivably understand the inner mental life

(m) whether our “folk” understandings of our inner life based on subjective experience can form the basis of knowledge of psychology or whether it is irrelevant and needs to be supplanted with an entirely different and empirically derived set of categories

(n) the connections between language and logic

(o) the relevance of philosophy of language to understanding moral utterances about things like goodness or badness, rightness or wrongness, etc.

(p) the relevance of philosophy of language to understanding religious beliefs

(q) the connections between language and concepts

(r) how speech acts create social meanings and how social meanings transform propositional statements into speech acts

Reserve your spot today for the new sections of Philosophy of Mind and Language which start the first week of September.

Philosophy of Mind and Language: Sundays 12pm-2:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Mind and Language: Thursdays 9pm-11:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Mind and Language: Fridays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Mind and Language: Saturdays 8pm-10:30pm Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes.

Social and Poltiical Online Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

In my Social and Political Philosophy we explore both classic and contemporary texts related to the foundations of a just society. We will philosophically analyze a wide range of social and political topics, per student interest. Potentially topics could including the natures of democracy, rights, justice, liberty, equality, oppression, international relations, individual/state relations, state/society relations, libertarianism, socialism, social justice, concepts of race and racism, concepts of gender and sexuality, feminism, LGBT issues, secularism, criminal justice, terrorism, controversies in sexual ethics (polyamory, prostitution, pornography, et al.), business ethics, biomedical ethics (euthanasia, abortion, et al.) and the ethics of war.

Reserve your spot today for the new sections of Social and Political Philosophy which start the first week of September.

Social and Political Philosophy: Sundays 8pm-10:30pm Eastern Time
Social and Political Philosophy: Saturdays 5pm-7:30pm Eastern Time
Social and Political Philosophy: Wednesdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Social and Political Philosophy: Thursdays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes.

Online Philosophy of Religion Class Dr Daniel Fincke

My Philosophy of Religion class addresses the philosophical issues that religions raise. This course is designed to give both believers and non-believers a detailed and nuanced understanding of the best arguments for and against the existence of God, and for the truth of theistic religions. The course also examines the nature of religion itself and whether atheistic religions are possible or worthwhile endeavors. Topics in ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, biblical studies, and political philosophy all arise at one point or another as part of addressing issues in the philosophy of religion.

Reserve your spot now in one of the new Philosophy of Religion classes starting September 2014.

Philosophy of Religion: Tuesdays 7pm-9:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Religion: Saturdays 2pm-4:30pm Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes.

Online History of Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

My History of Philosophy class explores the story of Western philosophy all the way from the pre-Socratic philosophers to the 20th Century. In this course I chronologically explain the major ideas and relevance of the major philosophical schools and figures from each major period in the history of Western Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy (the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics), Medieval Philosophy (Augustine and Aquinas), Modern Philosophy (Rationalism, Empiricism, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkely, Hume, and Kant), the 19th Century (German Idealism, Fichte, Hegel, Marx, Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche), and the first half of the 20th Century (The Rise of Analytic Philosophy, Pragmatism, Logical Positivism, Phenomenology, Existentialism, and Postmodernism, Russell, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, and Levinas).

Reserve your spot today for the new sections of The History of Philosophy which start the first week of September.

History of Philosophy: Mondays 7pm-9:30pm Eastern Time
History of Philosophy: Thursdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time

For full information on how courses work see the FAQ. For more classes go back to the links to all classes. Don’t hesitate to write me with any more questions at camelswithhammers@gmail.com!

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Below is the full schedule of class times launching September 2014, organized by class subject. Each time on the schedule is hyperlinked. Clicking on it will take you straight to self-registration.

Online Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

Philosophy for Atheists: Sundays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Philosophy for Atheists: Mondays 10pm-12:30am Eastern Time
Philosophy for Atheists: Fridays 7pm-9:30pm Eastern Time

Dr Daniel Fincke Online Philosophy Class Ethics

Ethics: Sundays 2:30pm-5:pm Eastern Time
Ethics: Tuesdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Ethics: Wednesdays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Ethics: Wednesdays 8pm-10:30pm Eastern Time
Ethics: Saturdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time

Online Philosophy Class Nietzsche Dr Daniel Fincke

Nietzsche: Mondays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Nietzsche: Tuesdays 10pm-12:30am Eastern Time
Nietzsche: Fridays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Nietzsche: Fridays 10pm-12:30am Eastern Time

Online Introduction to Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

Topical Introduction to Philosophy: Thursdays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Topical Introduction to Philosophy: Wednesdays 6pm-8:30pm Eastern Time
Topical Introduction to Philosophy: Sundays 5pm-7:30pm Eastern Time

Online Philosophy Class Mind Language Dr Daniel Fincke

Philosophy of Mind and Language: Sundays 12pm-2:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Mind and Language: Thursdays 9pm-11:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Mind and Language: Fridays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Mind and Language: Saturdays 8pm-10:30pm Eastern Time

Online Philosophy of Religion Class Dr Daniel Fincke

Philosophy of Religion: Tuesdays 7pm-9:30pm Eastern Time
Philosophy of Religion: Saturdays 2pm-4:30pm Eastern Time

Online History of Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

History of Philosophy: Mondays 7pm-9:30pm Eastern Time
History of Philosophy: Thursdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time

Social and Poltiical Online Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

Social and Political Philosophy: Sundays 8pm-10:30pm Eastern Time
Social and Political Philosophy: Saturdays 5pm-7:30pm Eastern Time
Social and Political Philosophy: Wednesdays 9am-11:30am Eastern Time
Social and Political Philosophy: Thursdays 3pm-5:30pm Eastern Time

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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