Dr Daniel Fincke Online Philosophy Class Ethics

2015 Class Offerings

*New Ethics Class to meet starting Fall 2015! It’s on the nature of ethics and whether there can be anything such as objective morality or moral truth.

*The class will be called: “Metaethics: Debating the Nature of Morality”.

*You can attend once weekly either on Tuesdays from 9pm-11pm Eastern Time (Starting 9/8/15) OR Fridays from 10am-12pm Eastern Time (Starting 9/11/15)*Brand new students attend their first session FREE as a no-commitment trial!

*No formal enrollment necessary to attend the first week. To sign up for your first appearance in the class, simply write me at to express your intent to come and I’ll tell you how to join us.

*If you need another class time other than the two scheduled in order to meet your needs, don’t hesitate to write me at

*Find a long list of example topics covered in the class as part of the course description:

Metaethics: Debating the Nature of Morality: This is a course for digging in deep to all the foundational questions about the nature of morality itself. Using a century’s worth of cutting edge philosophical work as our guide, we will explore the following questions and similar ones:

-What kind of reality does morality have?
-What does it mean to be either a “moral realist” or a “moral antirealist”?
-Is morality a matter for objectivity, subjectivity, or intersubjectivity?
-Is it constructed or discovered?
-What are the meanings of central moral terms like “good”, “bad”, “right,” and “wrong”?
-Is there anything that makes a moral norm necessarily binding?
-Are moral arguments capable of rational resolution in principle or do they all just boil down to the rationalizations of arbitrary feelings and preferences?
-Is there any such thing as moral knowledge and, if so, how can it be attained?
-Can there be a form of moral objectivity that accounts for the diversity of moral systems around the world and throughout time?
-Can morality be objective even if it involves situational judgments and changes in values over time?
-What does it mean for morality to be mind-independent and does it have to be so in order to be legitimately binding upon agents?
-Do moral judgments involve believing in fictitious entities?
-Do moral judgments and value assertions merely expression emotions or attitudes?
-Do moral statements state anything factual or do they merely give imperatives and express commitments to norms?
-Are they merely a form of social demand analogous to laws but only more informally propounded and enforced?
-Or are moral truths in some sense part of nature itself or, at least, logically derivable from facts about nature?
-Can scientific findings tell us what we must do morally?
-Can science help us understand the nature of fundamental moral legitimacy?
-Are fundamental moral concepts a priori concepts somehow akin to mathematical ones?
-Is God necessary for the existence, nature, or authority of moral truths?
-Can the existence of morality provide evidence for the existence of God?
-What ramifications do discoveries in evolutionary biology have for our understanding of the origins, nature, and legitimacy of moral judgments?
-What can psychological investigations into moral judgment making tell us about whether moral claims are legitimate or not, or rational or not?
-Can purported moral facts be “explanatory” about the world in ways comparable to how scientific facts can?
-Does the persistence of moral disagreement (even among putative experts) indicate that there is no such thing as moral truth?
-Is value a merely subjective matter?
-Is there any way to determine an objective good that all rational agents should maximize, when there are a range of from candidates such as pleasure, well-being, preference-satisfaction, thriving, dutifulness, and more that have each been plausibly proposed by philosophers?

There is no university credit for attending these class sessions. For more about me, see this page.

Official enrollments into classes are by subscription costing $39.99/week and they grant a student a weekly 2 hour live and interactive group class session, led by me directly. I understand that sometimes students are busy and can’t make it every week. My motto is “the year is long”, we have plenty of time to do philosophy when you are available. I occasionally have to cancel class myself and will also refund you in those cases. All your absences and canceled class sessions are automatically refunded, no questions asked, so you wind up paying only for sessions that I actually hold and that you actually attend. And you can automatically self-cancel your subscription completely at any time, using Paypal (or ask me to cancel it for you). There is no outside reading or writing required. I take it as my responsibility to catch students up to speed on the ideas we’re covering so that students are able to fully engage with the concepts for themselves without independent research. Sometimes we will read aloud, explicate, and criticize portions of books and articles  together to help us orient our discussion more concretely. Students interested in outside reading will be provided with suggestions upon request. But I find that these classes work best (and students attend most frequently) when they fit into students’ otherwise busy schedule as a once weekly source of rest, intellectual reinvigoration, and mentally stimulating social interaction, rather than as a source of work throughout the week.

After feeling satisfied with a particular class, students are free to move to another class while continuing on the same subscription or to cancel at that point. Students are also welcome to switch to other running class times on weeks they can’t make the class or time that they’re specifically subscribed to. Students can also inquire about regularly alternating between two concurrently running classes or times to accommodate their inconsistent schedules.

Guaranteed 1-on-1 class sessions are also available. They are typically 1 hour long (but we can work out longer sessions if you prefer) and cost $39.99/hr. Write me at to inquire about 1-on-1 classes or to ask me about possible changes to the group class schedules to accommodate you. I am flexible.

Occasionally there are scholarships available so subscribe to the e-mails (see the top left of this page) even if you cannot yet afford the classes. All paying students are welcome to have their partner, roommate, friends, or others share their computer screen and participate in class with them.

Use the drop down menu below to access the times for the Ethics classes and to purchase a subscription to attend the class weekly. You can join the class starting any week and at any point that you are satisfied you have gotten enough out of this class you can transfer your subscription to another class from thereon out.

2015 Class Offerings

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