I am presently signing up students to take the following courses with me online this summer.
Historical Philosophy, Sunday 12-2pm EDT from June 2-October 20 (20 week course).
Philosophy for Atheists, Sunday nights 8-11pm EDT from June 2-September 1 (13 week course).
Nietzsche, Tuesday/Thursday nights 7-9pm EDT from June 4-August 15 (10 week course).
Foundations of Ethics, Thursday nights EDT 9pm-12am from June 6-September 5 (13 week course).
Practical Ethics, Sundays 9-11:30am EDT from June 2-September 22 (16 week course)
Practical Ethics, Friday evenings 5:15-7:45pm EDT from July 6-October 26 (16 week course)
For general explanations of my qualifications and the details about how the courses work, just keep reading. For fuller descriptions of the subject matters of the available courses scroll down to the end of the post.
I have a PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University and 10 years of teaching experience. I have taught 89 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 and Hofstra University.
I use interactive video conferencing technology (Google Hangout) to offer affordable, non-matriculated, private philosophy classes. These classes are NOT eligible for any college credit whatsoever. They are for people interested in learning for other reasons than college credit. The price for new students starting this spring and summer will be only $16/hour ($15/hour for returning students), rates far lower than the cost of matriculated courses. And the class sizes are much smaller than the average matriculated course. Standard courses are 40 hours total in length. Session lengths may vary as will the lengths classes run. Intensive half-courses are 20 hours total in length and will run over just one weekend. Sometimes students with more means volunteer to pay half the tuition of students with lesser means, so consider filling out the survey even if you are uncertain you can pay for the course without half the tuition covered for you.
The way these classes work, you and your fellow participants video conference with me (using the incredibly user friendly and reliable Google Hangout) for a private lecture which mixes in copious amounts of vigorous, probing class discussion, which can be as driven by students’ individual interests as much as students desire. There will be no grades and no college credit whatsoever.
I also offer one-on-one confidential philosophical counseling services online for those who struggle with problems in their lives that need to be worked out not with psychological treatment but with the help of someone who can provide them with some philosophical clarity. As a philosopher, teacher, and certified philosophical practitioner, I have the skills to help you sort out your ethical dilemmas, your philosophical and personal challenges as you transition into atheism, your major life decisions, your religious doubts, your existential questions, your struggles in your relationships, your value priorities in life, your irrational habits of thinking and behaving that hold you back in life, and many other kinds of problems that can be helped through critical analyses of the logic and coherency of one’s concepts and values. Inquire directly at my camelswithhammers @ gmail address if you are interested in one-on-one philosophical counseling or lessons.
Below are detailed descriptions of each course:
Sunday 12-2pm EDT from June 2-October 20 (20 week course). NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS, INQUIRE AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS @ GMAIL.
This course looks at the history of philosophy through one major philosopher or movement at a time. Two students have spent the last three months studying Plato with me. Sign up for this course and you will join them and me in studying the rest of the history of philosophy, starting with Aristotle and continuing through the medieval, modern, 19th Century, 20th Century, and contemporary eras in philosophy. The course may take more than 20 weeks to get all the way to the contemporary era. But you will only need to make a 20 week commitment. If you would like to also catch up on Plato, I will work out a few sessions on him at our mutual convenience. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required or will be assumed. There is no college credit whatsoever given for taking this course.
PHILOSOPHY FOR ATHEISTS
Sunday nights 8-11pm EDT from June 2-September 1 (13 week course). NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS, INQUIRE AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS @ GMAIL.
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.
Tuesday/Thursday nights 7-9pm EDT from June 4-August 15 (10 week course). NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS, INQUIRE AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS @ GMAIL.
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.
FOUNDATIONS OF ETHICS
Thursday nights 9pm-12am EDT from June 6-September 5 (13 week course). NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS, INQUIRE AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS @ GMAIL.
A highly theoretical course delving into the nature of moral reality. This course will deals in depth with numerous questions about 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. We will talk about whether there can be such a thing as moral knowledge and, if so, how it might prove itself. We will talk about the nature of moral language and whether it even intends to refer to facts or whether it aims at something wholly different. We will talk about what, if anything, can make a norm binding on a will with legitimate, moral, authority. 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.
2 SECTIONS NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENTS. INQUIRE AT CAMELSWITHHAMMERS @ GMAIL.
Sundays 9-11:30am EDT from June 2-September 22 (16 week course).
Fridays 5:15-7:45pm EDT from July 6-October 26 (16 week course).
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) 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.
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.