*Try out my classes for free with a no-commitment trial! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend me and write to me on Facebook in order to schedule one.
CLASS SCHEDULE STARTING FEBRUARY 2017:
Philosophy for Atheists (join us Sundays 12pm-2pm ET)
Philosophy For the Age of Trump (join us Sundays 2pm-4pm ET or Fridays 3-5pm ET, or Thursdays 8pm-10pm)
Nietzsche (join us Sundays 4pm-6pm ET)
Virtues, Values, and Meaning in Life (join us Sundays 9:15am-11:15am ET)
Philosophy of Religion (join us Saturdays 3pm-5pm ET)
Metaethics (join us Saturdays 5pm-7pm ET)
Epistemology (join us Thursdays 5:30pm-7:30pm ET)
*If none of the existing class times fits your schedule, please do not hesitate to write me at email@example.com or to friend me and write to me on Facebook in order to request a new section and let me know all the times you could accommodate so I have as much flexibility as possible to accommodate your classmates.
I earned my PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University. I wrote my dissertation on ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Over 11 years I taught 2,500 university students spread across 93 classes from 7 universities.
Since January 2013 I have been leading self-motivated independent learners from around the world small group and 1-on-1 classes. My small group online classes involve live, dynamic, interactive class discussions with me and your fellow students held over videoconference (using Google Hangout, which downloads in just seconds). Classes are flexible enough to meet the needs of both beginners and students with existing philosophical background. Usually we read a primary or secondary philosophical text together live in class, using Google Hangout’s easy and convenient screen-share feature, and discuss it as we go. In more introductory style courses I will also overview some concepts in a traditional lecture style before opening the floor for discussion. In either case, classes wind up tailored to your specific interests, ideas, and questions related to the material as vigorous, rigorous, and potentially wide-ranging class discussions almost inevitably emerge in response to the ideas we are reading together or which I am explaining and these determine the direction of the class from there. My classes are university quality but I offer no university credit whatsoever.
I typically propose whole new classes in January, June, and September. But I also wind up starting new classes in other months when students come available then instead. I schedule all classes by learning the regular time availabilities of the interested students and putting as many students together with classmates as possible. I run as many sections of a class as necessary to accommodate everyone. I also happily run 1-on-1 classes at the (cheaper) group class rate when the only time that works for a given student is a time that works for only that one student.
Most importantly though, each class is designed to be the sort of experience you can join “midstream” and continue to attend year-round as though it were a book club, bible study, or a yoga class rather than a formal university class with a sequential structure and a beginning and an end. So students may hop into any given existing class that fits their interests and their schedules, rather than wait for a new one to be started, and not have to worry about what was covered in previous weeks and months.
If you can’t make your regular class session in a given week, you can either (a) request a (copyrighted and confidential) recording of the missed session (which you are forbidden to distribute or broadcast to others), (b) sit in with another section of my classes, (c) set up a one on one make up time with me at your convenience, or (d) receive a no questions asked refund.
Some busy prospective students worry that they will either inconvenience me or not keep up with the material if they have inconsistent attendance in their regular time slot. Fear of inconsistent attendance should never be the reason for not signing up to my classes. From both a pedagogical standpoint and, frankly, a business standpoint, it’s always in my own interest to make up the class time, to give you a recording (so long as you honor its copyright and my confidentiality and that of your fellow students and never redistribute it), or to give you a refund so that you are getting value from your money and will continue paying me and being a part of the class when you can attend. As long as a student is available at some time during the week, day or night, I will prioritize making myself available if at all possible. And if there is simply no time for a student to make up time in a given week or later in a month, then that’s okay too.
My motto is “the year is long”. We are not under any institutional time pressures to get classes completed in specific timeframes. Some of my classes literally run year round with the same students exploring ever more topics with me. Classes will run until every single student has gotten every single thing he or she wants out of it. And since I strive to make my philosophical discussions with me and your classmates such a highly valued part of your weekly ritual that you continue to participate in classes with me year round, I look at this from a long term perspective and fully expect that it will be inevitable and healthy that eventually you will have some other weeks away (sometimes consecutively even), that you will attend to important occasions that arise, go on vacations, deal with illness, or just plain need to save money sometimes. My goal is to be accommodating so that whenever it works for you to join in my classes, you feel welcome and feel no guilt over the times you cannot.
My classes require no outside reading or homework or grades–only a once weekly 2 hour commitment that fits the schedules of busy people. I take it as my responsibility to catch you up to speed on the ideas we’re covering so that you are able to fully engage with the concepts for yourself without having to do work on the topics the rest of the week. Most weeks I read aloud sections of books and articles as we look at them together on a screen share. As we read, we explicate and criticize the texts together and eventually wind up creatively, critically, and constructively discussing with each other our own ideas stimulated by the texts we’re reading. The texts we read together include (1) introductory texts aimed at undergraduate and graduate philosophy majors, (2) summations of key positions from the philosophical literature written in handbooks and encyclopedias designed for professional philosophers and students alike, and (3) primary sources, be they classic or cutting edge contemporary journal articles or book chapters. I am constantly challenging myself to continue learning with my students rather than to stick to lecturing about what I have already mastered. So that means we spend year round getting deeper and more specific about the basic questions of the class as we perpetually explore fresh new perspectives. Particular students may start and stop attending at any time throughout these classes and students are encouraged to inform me of their topic preferences, and any time limits they have in mind for how long they expect to participate in the classes, so that I can be sure to prioritize their interests while they are part of the class. Students interested in outside reading will be provided with suggestions upon request. But I find that these classes work best (and people attend most frequently) when they fit into students’ otherwise busy schedules as a once weekly source of rest, intellectual reinvigoration, and mentally stimulating social interaction, rather than as a source of extra work throughout the week.
Most students pay for classes using a Weekly Subscription. Once you subscribe, you’re self-enrolled in the class and automatically billed by PayPal for $39.99 weekly until whenever you want to cancel. Any time I cancel class or you are absent (for whatever reason) you are refunded your weekly payment. Unlike with your gym membership, you will never get stuck paying for time you don’t use if you sign up for a Weekly Subscription. And when you’re ready to cancel your subscription you can self-cancel with PayPal directly or ask me to pause your subscription if you intend to come back. When you’re satisfied with a particular class, you can either switch to another class or cancel or pause your subscription at that time.
Students who (a) are willing to commit up front to attend class year round, (b) have the money upfront, and (c) do not mind supporting me even in the case that they are unable to attend as often as they expect, are welcome to sign up for the 2017 Year Long Pass. Subscription in order to receive a guaranteed 50 sessions within a year for $1,499. That’s a rate of just $29.98/session for a savings of 25% as compared to paying for 50 weeks on a Weekly Subscription. Unused sessions within the year cannot be used in the next year. Students may sometimes attend more than once a week to get their 50 owed sessions. There are no refunds if students fail to attend all 50 sessions. Prorated refunds are only offered in cases where I neglect to offer or show up to 50 weeks worth of classes or to make adequate accommodations to make up any classes I have to cancel. Students may also defer time from their subscription if they suspend it for 1-12 months due to a personal hardship. If a student on a Yearly Subscription does not participate in at least 37 class periods within the allotted year, every unused class session less than 37 will be donated to the the scholarship fund for the next year.
People who live together are permitted to take a class together for no extra cost, if they share the same camera. Scholarships are also available for students who cannot afford the classes. PleaseWrite me at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend me and write to me on Facebook in order to be put on the list of potential scholarship recipients.
Click on the banners below to learn about some of the specific courses I offer.