*New Classes Start As Soon As Interested Students Request Them!
*Write me at email@example.com to let me know the times you would be available for a once weekly class and let me know that you want to study Philosophy of Religion. I will then send out information to all my other prospective students that a class is starting and we will be on our way to a new class!
*September 2015 new classes are scheduled in Ethics, Topical Introduction to Philosophy, and 20th Century Philosophy.
*Brand new students attend their first session FREE as a no-commitment trial! No enrollment necessary for first time attendees to my classes, just e-mail me at camelswithhammers@gmail to know you’re coming to an already scheduled class and I will give you all the information on how to attend. Students are welcome to start attending a class midway as each week’s topics are self-contained. So if you can’t make it the first week(s), there is still time to join us midstream.
Philosophy for Atheists is a course specially designed to meet the needs of atheists who are looking for secular, philosophical alternatives to religious thinking about the most fundamental questions. It is ideal for people who have deconverted from a theistic religion and want to both work out their own positive, secular, humanist worldview and answer philosophical challenges that atheists commonly face from theists. Philosophy for Atheists is essentially a hybrid between my topical introduction to philosophy course, my history of philosophy course, and my philosophy of religion course, tailored specifically to the interests and needs of atheists. Since each of these subjects is large enough to have its own individual full course, I select the material flexibly as we go, in response to student interests. Each week I rotate to another self-contained topic so students can join in at any time without worrying about having missed anything. 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. So over the course of any given 16 week run of sessions, as students rotate into the class and out at their own pace, I cover all the major topics of the course.
There are three constants to the course structure, no matter how the material varies. (1) We inevitably introduce a number major topics in philosophy (e.g., ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, political philosophy, etc.) and explore them in their own right to some significant extent, while making little or no reference to religion. These philosophical issues are completely capable of rational investigation without any consideration of religious authority, so that’s how we cover them. We look at what leading philosophers, both historical and contemporary, have had to say about the topics and discussing them in an open-ended way for ourselves. (2) Next, we apply the insights we generate about philosophical issues for their own sake to related questions in the philosophy of religion and to the debates about the existence of God. (3) We spend roughly a third of our sessions directly discussing an array of philosophy of religion issues, from the existence of God to the nature and value of religion itself to the best way to formulate an ideal of political secularism. Where appropriate we discuss counter-apologetics strategies as part of this.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Atheist students uninterested in religion, or who simply want to fill in their philosophical education and work out their philosophical views in a completely constructive way that does not spend significant time answering theism anymore, are recommended to take any of the following classes instead. The Topical Introduction to Philosophy is a traditional introductory alternative that significantly overlaps in topics with Philosophy for Atheists but stays focused on philosophy itself and is more likely to have non-atheists attending. History of Philosophy overlaps somewhat with Philosophy for Atheists and is about the history of philosophy in its own right, without tying it back at each stage to its relevance for the God debates. The Ethics class spends most of its time considering supernaturalistic ideas about morality as beneath consideration. And things are similar in Philosophy of Mind and Language and Social and Political Philosophy. Philosophy for Atheists, Philosophy of Religion (which overlaps substantially with Philosophy for Atheists), and Nietzsche are all for those atheists who are still interested in keeping an eye on religion and the God debates even as they go forward philosophically. Philosophy of Religion and Nietzsche are less tailored to atheists and more likely to have non-atheists attending. Click on the banners below to be sent to the topics, schedules, and registration for other classes.