History of Philosophy

Online History of Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

New Mondays History of Philosophy Course Kicking off February 23, 2015 at 9am ET!
Brand new students can attend their first session FREE as a no-commitment trial.
New class sections are regularly scheduled around students’ own schedules.
E-mail me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com to reserve your spot in an existing class or request a new one.

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My History of Philosophy class introduces students to the story of Western philosophy all the way from the pre-Socratic philosophers to the 20th Century. In this course I chronologically explain the major ideas and relevance of the major philosophical schools and figures from each major period in the history of Western Philosophy, overviewing an entire period or tradition each week. While there is ample room for students to discuss their philosophical responses to the ideas being covered, this is generally the class I teach which is heaviest on lecture time as there is a great quantity of detailed material to explain week to week.

We overview Ancient Greek and Hellenistic Philosophy (the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, the Cynics, the Epicureans), Medieval Philosophy (Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and the Scholastics), Modern Philosophy (the Rationalists, Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, and the Empiricists Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), Kant, 19th Century German Idealists (Fichte and Hegel) and the 19th Century European proto-existentialist reactions against them (Marx, Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, and Nietzsche).

Then finally we address the diverse explosion of movements in 20th Century Philosophy. Students are given a familiarizing overview of the rise of Analytic Philosophy (Russell, Wittgenstein, Frege, Logical Positivism, Ordinary Language Philosophy, Modal Logic, and the division of philosophy into new subfields like Metaethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Science, etc.), Pragmatism (Peirce, James, Dewey, Rorty), Process Philosophy (Whitehead), Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas), Existentialism (Sartre, Camus, Buber, Barth), Structuralism (Saussure and Lacan), Hermeneutics (Gadamer), Feminism (de Beauvoir, Irigaray), Postmodernism (Derrida’s Deconstruction and Foucault’s Post-Structuralism), and Post-World War II Political Philosophy (Rawls, Nozick, Walzer, Arendt). This course has some significant overlaps with Philosophy for Atheists but is designed to be complementary to (rather than redundant with) all the other classes.

Each week I rotate to another self-contained topic so students can join in at any time without worrying about not understanding. While students can keep attending as long as they want and there will always be fresh lectures, most students take about 16 weeks of a given class before moving on to another. But over the course of a year, a student can expect to see the full sweep of the history of Western philosophy. Even if a student joins a class already in progress, he or she can simply stick with it until it eventually loops around to the beginning again, in order round out his or her understanding.

There is no university credit for attending these class sessions. For more details on how my classes work in general, please see the FAQ. For more about me, see this page.

Effective January 5, 2015 new enrollments into classes are by subscription costing $39.99/week and they grant student weekly 2 hour live and interactive group class sessions 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). 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 dan.fincke@gmail.com 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 all my currently joinable classes and to purchase a subscription to attend 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.

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