Topical Introduction to Philosophy

Online Introduction to Philosophy Class Dr Daniel Fincke

*New Fall 2015 Class of Topical Introduction to Philosophy Starting, meeting Mondays 7:30pm-9:30pm ET, beginning September 14, 2015

*Free trial for brand new students! No formal enrollment necessary to attend the first week as a first time attendee in my classes. 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 one 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 below.

2015 Class Offerings

My Topical Introduction To Philosophy catches up newcomers to philosophy by each week overviewing a major subfield of philosophy. Each week I rotate to another self-contained topic so students can join in at any time without worrying about having missed anything. Over the course of any given 16 week run of sessions we will overview  Philosophy of Mind, Moral Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Personal Identity, Social Philosophy (Gender, Race, etc.), Logic, Philosophy of Religion, Aesthetics, Free Will and Determinism, Philosophy of Human Nature, Philosophy of Emotion, and Self-Interest.

For every topic, we explore the major questions, their practical relevance, and the major competing contemporary positions that philosophers hold. Then we engage in freewheeling, open-ended philosophical discussions of the topics for ourselves. As you work out your own thoughts on the week’s topic, I inform you of the ways that philosophers have developed arguments along similar lines or raised challenges to your views. Then I help you work out strategies for either overcoming objections or modifying your views to account for them. While inevitably some of the great philosophers throughout history will be discussed, this class is contemporary in its focus. It is meant to look at the current state of philosophical questions, rather than tell the story of how we got here. It is meant to complement, rather than significantly overlap with, my History of Philosophy class, which tells the story of philosophy from the ancients up through the 20th Century. While the History of Philosophy can serve as an introductory class that is more lecture oriented than any of my other classes, the Topical Introduction to Philosophy puts a greater accent on students working out their own take on the issues. 

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.

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 Topical Introduction to Philosophy 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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