Good Online Philosophy Courses


A couple of weeks ago I put the entertaining promotional video for “Paradox and Infinity,” an online course by Augustín Rayo (MIT),  in the Heap of Links. In case you missed it, I’ve put it at the bottom of this post. A few other online courses have been brought to my attention that look particularly good, including: two taught by large teams at the University of Edinburgh, Introduction to Philosophy and Philosophy and the Sciences; Introduction to Bioethics from Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics; The Ethics of Eating, put on by Cornell’s Andrew Chignell and William Starr; one featuring Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke) and Ram Neta  (UNC) on philosophical arguing and statistics called Reasoning, Data Analysis, and Writing; and Revolutionary Ideas: An Introduction to Legal and Political Philosophy, put on by Alexander Guerrero (Pennsylvania), which got some attention when rapper Lupe Fiasco tweeted about it. There’s also the popular set of courses offered by the University of New Orleans (mentioned here), as well as Michael Sandel’s world famous course, Justice. I’m sure there are many other good ones out there—feel free to mention them in the comments. I’d be curious to hear from those who have made such courses what they think the particular challenges are, and what makes for a good one.

 

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Clayton
Clayton
5 years ago

Leitgeib and Hartmann’s introduction to mathematical philosophy was very well done: https://www.coursera.org/course/mathphilReport

sydm
sydm
5 years ago

I teach a 7 week online ethics course called Zombie Ethics. We look at season 1 of The Walking Dead. The first time I taught an online course, about a third of the students disappeared after the first week — they didn’t drop or withdraw, they just stopped turning in assignments, and ultimately failed. I have since changed the structure of my online courses to have a regular schedule of content releases from me, and assignments that are due throughout the week, and some assignments (like quizzes) that can only be completed after the student watches the video lecture. They’ve also got graded online discussions, to get them interacting with each other. Basically, something is scheduled for every day, M-F. Online courses are not for everyone — the students really have to be self-starters who can stay motivated and get the work done with minimal prodding. The first week, I send them daily reminders of what is happening and what is due, but after that, they’re on their own.Report

Yalie
Yalie
5 years ago

Shelly Kagan’s death lectures are phenomenal!Report

David Velleman
David Velleman
5 years ago

I have an interactive online logic course that covers propositional logic plus the language of first-order quantification. It also includes a unit of counterfactuals, with interactive possible-worlds diagrams. There are no videos or lectures — just an online textbook with interactive illustrations of every step in the exposition, and interactive exercises. The presentation is fairly idiosyncratic: for example, it uses a working Boolean search engine and working logic circuits to introduce the logical operators. There is also a version of the course that offers graded quizzes and tracks students’ progress on them, but this version needs to be configured individually for each IT environment. The ungraded course is available at: http://www.nyu.edu/classes/velleman/blogic/Logic/ . The graded version is available on request.Report

David Velleman
David Velleman
5 years ago

I also have two series of lectures in ethics, recorded on occasions when I had to miss a number of classes. One series is on the Nicomachean Ethics, the other on Kant’s Groundwork. They are broken up into segments of 8-10 minutes each. The production values are … well, better to call them production dis-values: just my talking head, recorded on my laptop. Still, students may find them useful. They are available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jdavidvelleman/playlistsReport

PeterJ
5 years ago

For someone starting out in philosophy I’d want to recommend the Pathways school run by Dr. Klempner based at Uni. of Sheffield. This is linked to the Birkbeck College courses (mentioned elsewhere here) so as to lead to a first degree level.Report