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Explore the depths of human existence and gain insights into the fundamental questions of life through online Philosophy classes, covering topics such as ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics.

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Infinity: History, Mathematics, Philosophy

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 247 West 37th St, New York, NY

How can we, as finite beings, grasp the concept of infinity? Yet humans have been contemplating infinity for millennia, whether inspired by nature, philosophy, spirituality—or mathematics. This course is a historical and conceptual approach to the latter realm, the mathematics of infinity. Our topics will include the ancient Greeks’ discovery of irrational numbers and Zeno’s paradoxes; Aristotle’s distinction between “actual infinity”...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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$315

4 sessions

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An Introduction to Schopenhauer

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Worst of All Possible Worlds: an Introduction to Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer is a true oddity in the history of philosophy. Although a great metaphysical systematizer in the tradition of Leibniz and Hegel, Schopenhauer posed a worldview entirely antithetical to the “optimism” characteristic of traditional Western philosophizing. Whereas for Leibniz ours is “the best of all possible worlds,” Schopenhauer insisted that we are “not...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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$315

4 sessions

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A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing: An Introduction to Marx

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

In the mid-nineteenth century, a young Karl Marx wrote, in the form of a published open letter to Arnold Ruge: “But if the designing of the future and the proclamation of ready-made solutions for all time is not our affair, then we realize all the more clearly what we have to accomplish in the present—I am speaking of a ruthless criticism of everything existing, ruthless in two senses: The criticism must not be afraid of its own conclusions,...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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$335

4 sessions

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Heidegger: Truth, Technology, and Poetry

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 30 Irving Pl, New York, NY

Sometime in the early 1930’s, Heidegger’s thought is supposed to have undergone a change. His philosophical project shifted from the “fundamental ontology” of his early work Being and Time—foundational to the development of wartime and post-war “existentialism”—to what he would come to describe as Seinsgeschichte—a “history of being.” Heidegger was interested in understanding how the meaning of being, what it means...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Understanding Loneliness: Literature, Philosophy,Theory

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

How are we to understand loneliness today? It appears that we are facing a mass epidemic of loneliness—one perhaps exacerbated by virological pandemic of COVID-19. Britain has appointed a Minister of Loneliness to counter rising rates of isolation. Approximately 20-43 percent of American adults over the age of 60 experience “frequent or intense loneliness.” And, it is clear from medical research that loneliness has significant health impacts:...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Friedrich Nietzsche: Truth and Morality

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online, New York, NY

Friedrich Nietzsche is among the most notorious and controversial thinkers in the western intellectual tradition. He aimed to philosophize “with a hammer,” to demolish the philosophical tradition founded by Socrates and Plato and slaughter its most sacred cows. Central to that tradition is the value placed on truth, reason, objectivity, and a moral system based on altruism and self-sacrifice.  In contrast to forming the bedrock of a stable...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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$315

4 sessions

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Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online, New York, NY

Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology: a Critical Introduction If much of continental philosophy takes as its fundamental orientation a perspective that originates in the late 18th century, how equipped can it be to address issues of urgent contemporary concern: ecological crisis, the pre-eminence of digital technology, neuroscientific advances, and the blurring of the lines between humans and machines? Motivated by such concerns, and...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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$315

4 sessions

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Feminist Killjoys: an Introduction to Sara Ahmed

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

What does it mean to be a feminist killjoy? Why are some actions and expressions recognized as bold but others stigmatized as willful? For feminist theorist Sara Ahmed, our embodied experiences are foundational to the ways we move through the world. That is, certain marked bodies—be they queer, black, brown, and/or woman—encounter pressure, resistance, or violence as they attempt to make space and flourish beyond the boundaries of the normative...

(29) Beginner 21 and older
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Stoicism: a Philosophical Introduction

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

“Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.” Taken from Epictetus’ Handbook, this maxim expresses a signature teaching of the ancient philosophy of Stoicism; it encapsulates Stoicism’s resolution to the problem of life’s turbulences, from sour emotions (the coffee shop is out of my favorite drink) to overweening grief (a loved one unexpectedly...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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Jürgen Habermas: The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Embark on an exploration of the public sphere with Jürgen Habermas. Analyze the evolution of this crucial space for democratic discourse and its challenges in today's fragmented society. Delve into Habermas's seminal work to uncover insights on renewing and revitalizing public dialogue in the 21st century.

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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Walking and Philosophy: Thinking in Motion

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

How does an activity as simple as walking become emblematic of an age—or a school of philosophy? From the wandering peripatetic of ancient Greece to the paradigmatic urban wanderer of 19th century Europe—the flâneur, a boulevard stroller immersed in the throng of human traffic—philosophers have been walking and thinking, alone or in among the crowd, amidst an asymmetrical organization of gazes, at once observing and being observed. The freedom—of...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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$335

4 sessions

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Islamic Ethics: Philosophy, Theology, and Sharia Law

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Throughout the West, Islam is frequently presented as a powerful monolith, a civilizational threat, or an infection in the body politic. However, even a cursory glance at historical and contemporary materials reveals a long historical evolution in Muslim ethical thought and practice, which prompts questions of urgent contemporary relevance and dizzying scope: What is Sharia? Is it a rigid, 7th-century-based law, or an ethical system promoting the...

(29) All levels 21 and older
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$335

4 sessions

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Racecraft: Race, Society, and Superstition

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

“Race is a social construction” is something we commonly hear and say. Yet, biological ideas of race remain firmly rooted in our practices and discourse. Take, for example, the legal and customary categorization of race by phenotype. Or, the growing appeal of genetic testing for ancestry. The reason, according to Karen and Barbara Fields, is racecraft—a constantly reiterated set of practices that misconstrue racism for race. Racecraft is the...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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Kant’s Practical Philosophy: Reason, Morality

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Kant’s Practical Philosophy: Reason, Morality, and Freedom At the epicenter of Immanuel Kant’s broad philosophical project regarding nature, the self, aesthetics, and history is an ultimate concern with morality and the good. How must we re-conceive of our moral obligations to each other in the light of declining religious authority and belief? Can we understand morality on the basis of the nature of human reason alone? For Kant, there is an...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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Introduction to Feminist Theory

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

What does it mean to be a “feminist”? To whom does the designation belong? And what does it entail—in political, economic, and social terms? For ways of experiencing, knowing, and acting in the world? And as a theoretical position in and of itself? Feminism, now broadly deployed in every imaginable sphere of discourse, has accrued over time a remarkable diversity of meanings—epistemological, political, economic, and social—in...

(29) Beginner 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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Prison Abolition: Punishment and Freedom

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Explore the historical and societal implications of prisons and punishment in this thought-provoking course. Delve into the work of influential authors such as Angela Davis and Ruth Wilson Gilmore to challenge the normative behaviors and expectations surrounding incarceration. Discover new perspectives on justice, retribution, and the complex relationship between freedom and imprisonment.

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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Simone de Beauvoir: Existentialism, Phenomenology, Feminism

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Simone de Beauvoir—activist, author, social critic, philosopher—is considered one of the pioneering figures of existentialist and feminist philosophy. Although her work spans multiple genres and address numerous modern social questions and classic philosophical dilemmas, it was the 1953 publication of The Second Sex that brought the “woman question” into plain and clear light and marked her entry into not only French, but also...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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Dreams and Dreaming: Philosophy, Psychology, and the Unconscious

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Explore the realm of dreams through the lenses of philosophy, psychology, and the unconscious in this interdisciplinary course. Discover how dreams have inspired artists, writers, and theorists, shedding light on the nature of reality and our connection to others. Delve into the works of Freud, Benjamin, Coleridge, and more as you unravel the profound connections between dreams and waking life.

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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Living Authentically

Curious Soul Philosophy @ Live interactive virtual

Living Authentically: Simone de Beauvoir’s Antidote to Alienation We all struggle with the weight of society’s expectations about who we should be and what we should strive for. Sometimes we are so overcome by the external pressures of others’ beliefs and demands that our lives feel like they are no longer our own. And sometimes we get so good at internalizing the social norms that were handed down to us that our chains become self-imposed....

All levels 18 and older
No upcoming schedules
$200

4 sessions

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Philosophy of Mind: Thinking and Consciousness

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind a reducible, physical system, or is there anything more to consciousness? It’s often taken for granted that the human mind is a kind of computer (and that, similarly, computers can “think,” know, and learn much as humans do). In more classical thought, the mind was frequently regarded as independent of the body, a thing associated with an incorporeal “soul.” But how seriously...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$335

4 sessions

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