Jan 18, 2016

Five Course Lectures on MLK's Letter To a Birmingham Jail

In the online World Views and Values course that I developed - and still teach on occasion - for Marist College, the thinker who I chose to close out the 10-week class with was Martin Luther King, Jr.. The course, by design, centered on issues such as the human person, moral norms and development, politics and society, culture and education, freedom and fate, inequalities and equality, as well as the nature of the greater reality within which the entire human sphere is situated.

I chose to make the "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" the central text for that final week's study, supplemented by the "I Have a Dream" speech.  These selections were deliberate, not only because both documents articulate key themes and arguments of King's overall critical approach to American racism and justice, but also for a different reason.  They're both widely referenced, and occasionally quoted from, but (at least in my experience) rarely read by the current crop of students in the present.

Nov 21, 2015

Free Resources on Plato's Symposium

Back in the month of August, I taught a 4-week online course for the Global Center for Advanced Studies on Plato's Symposium -- a very enjoyable class, involving excellent student discussions!

When it comes to designing online classes, I'm a bit on the over-achiever side.  For every 2-hour videoconference class session, I produce a 25-40 slide presentation.  I also create video content, lesson pages, and handouts on the material we're studying.  Ok. . . so more than a bit . . . But my obsession is your gain, since I'm posting some of those resources here, free of charge, open-access.

Nov 15, 2015

Open Access Class on Epictetus' Discourses


I'm very happy to be able to report that enrollment is currently open for a 4-week, online course in which I'll be leading students through all four books of a classic Stoic text, Epictetus' discourses.  The course is being hosted in the Moodle eSchool of the Global Center for Advanced Studies, and offered for free as a service to the general educational public.

I'll be holding the first video-conferencing course sessions next Saturday.  Students who enroll in the class will be able to access the course lessons, handouts, and videos I've produced - and will be continuing to produce - for the course.  They'll also engage in discussion forums with their classmates, and of course, weekly video-conferences with me, the instructor.

The class does not bear any credit, and is being offered for personal development and enrichment, so there are no homework assignments or examinations - though, time permitting, I will create some quizzes and study questions.  The goal is simply to permit interested students the opportunity to study with a professor deeply interested in this particular thinker, his work, and his ideas.

If you're interested in enrolling in the Epictetus' Discourses course, you can click here to be taken to the GCAS Moodle eSchool page for the course.

Nov 8, 2015

Our Move Back To Milwaukee

Three weeks ago, my wife and I (and our aging dogs) finished a long-planned move from Kingston, NY to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The trip took two very long days of driving, and some adventures (which you can hear about in this video, if you're so inclined), and moving everything into our new apartment took the entirety of a day as well.

Both Andi and I maintain some pretty heavy workloads, with a lot of deadlined projects -- and in her case, ten days away in California for her work -- so the process of unpacking and entirely settling in has taken considerably longer than we'd anticipated.  But, we are definitely back home!  I imagine that many of my readers, viewers, subscribers, and so forth, might be curious about why we moved to this particular Midwestern city, and what this move means for the future.  So there's probably no better place to write about that then here, in the longest-established of all of my blogs.

Oct 13, 2015

Two Working Papers from the ACPA Conference

When I'm able to, I typically attend the American Catholic Philosophical Association, one of the larger and more important annual philosophy conferences in the United States.  As a graduate student and young professor, I started out giving papers in the main ACPA sessions (including these on Hegel, Blondel, Anselm, and Aristotle). In more recent (and busier) years, I've tended to miss the traditional April deadline for submitting papers.  But, I've also been asked to contribute papers for what are called "satellite sessions" -- which are, by the way, one of my favorite features of the ACPA conference.

This year, I was approached by several different organizations to give a paper at their satellite sessions, and I actually had to turn some down -- two is effectively the maximum for me.  The Gabriel Marcel Society and the International Etienne Gilson Society assembled their panels the quickest, so I committed to speaking during their sessions.

Sep 28, 2015

Starting the Master-Slave Dialectic


More than a year-and-a half-in, the Half-Hour Hegel project continues on strong!  I've just released the 74th installation in this video lecture series -- aimed at providing an innovative, open-access, digital commentary on G.W.F Hegel's first major work, the notoriously difficult Phenomenology of Spirit.

I usually provide updates about the project and matters Hegel-related on the Half-Hour Hegel blog, but since the Master-Slave dialectic is a particularly popular selection from the work -- and that's what we're about to start --  I thought it would be worthwhile to mention it here in Orexis Dianoētikē.

If you're interested specifically in that section of the work here's the video lectures so far from the "Lordship and Bondage" portion:
If you'd like to see the other videos from the Self-Consciousness portion that the Master-Slave dialectic fits into, I suggest going over to this page on the Half-Hour Hegel blog, where all the video lectures are curated as soon as I shoot, edit, upload, and release them. 

Next week, you can expect to see videos specifically discussing the paragraphs in which Hegel elaborates the Master-Slave dialectic proper -- if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, I'll announce their releases there, as well as on my YouTube channel, the Half Hour Hegel Patreon page, and the Half Hour Hegel blog.

Sep 16, 2015

Understanding Anger - Lecture 9: Thomas Aquinas On Anger

Our series of monthly lectures for this year -- hosted by the historic Kingston Library -- has come to a close, with a well-attended and very enjoyable last session.  The topic for this talk, Thomas Aquinas' perspective upon anger, tied together thematic threads from many of the previous sessions, particularly because Thomas himself was a great systematizer and synthesizer of previous points of view.

In the previous session, we examined several early Christian thinkers who discussed anger (you can watch the video of that earlier session here), taking us up to the 5th century AD, the cusp between antiquity and the middle ages.  In this final session, we focused on a thinker solidly in the midst of the medieval period, the 13th century, often called the "high middle ages."  You can watch the video of that very lively discussion here.