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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

9 Fascinating Philosophy Video Lectures

Hey everyone, this month I have another guest blog post by Alexis Bonari. She's written an article about fascinating philosophy video lectures. She is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships.org. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.


Is Science Showing That We Don't Have Free Will?


Video description:
In this public lecture at Edinburgh University, Tufts Professor Daniel Dennett explores the concept of free will as it relates to modern scientific findings. Particularly, he zones in on the uncomfortable proposition that neuroscience may be showing us once and for all that free will is an illusion. Lucid and engaging, Daniel Dennett - arguably one of the most famous living philosophers of mind living today - steers through the evidence on the nature of free will in this lively 90 minute discussion.


Introduction to Philosophy


Video description:
Dr. Edwin Bagley of Wingate University shares in this video lecture an introduction to various philosophical theories and concepts. Dr. Bagley primarily centers this introductory course around 3 philosophers: Plato, Rene Descartes, and Jean-Paul Sartre.


The Philosophy of Death


Video description:
In this lucid and very down to earth lecture, Professor Kagan of Yale University's Philosophy Department discusses various philosophical questions surrounding death. Short of mentioning commonly discussed themes surrounding dying, such as the 5 stages of death, bereavement, and grieving, he instead focuses on the metaphysical questions that arise when we acknowledge that one day we will die.


An Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics


Video description:
Dr. Werner Krieglstein presents an introduction to philosophy and ethics in this video lecture from the College of DuPage. Dr. Krieglstein is well known for developing a philosophical school called Transcendental Perspectivism.


What is Political Philosophy?


Video description:
In this video lecture, Professor Smith of Yale University tackles the question "What is political philosophy?" He explores this question through the study of Plato, Aristotle, Hagen, Nietzsche, and other philosophical heavyweights on up to more modern thinkers. This talk explore questions common to political philosophy, such as "What political system is the best?" and "What does it mean to be a good citizen?"


Philosophy of Love in the Western World


Video description:
Noting that not many philosophers discussed love and sex until recently, this video lecture featuring Professor Irving Singer of MIT attempts to reconstruct from both ancient and modern sources a philosophy of love as it relates to Western culture.


Is Morality Real, or Do We Make It Up?


Video description:
In this fascinating lecture by Dr. Joshua Thurow (University of Wisconsin-Madison), he discusses philosophical questions surrounding the concept of morality. Ultimately, this lecture is an attempt to answer the question: "Is Morality Real, or Do We Make It Up?" In other words, is there really something to the idea of right and wrong, or is it all in our heads? Presented by the Young Philosophers.


What My Dog Can Tell Us About The Problem of Evil


Video description:
In another lucid talk presented by the Young Philosophers, Professor Chris Tucker discusses what is known in philosophical circles as "the problem of evil." Through this lense, he touches on various issues such as ethics, morality, God, and what his dog - and his dog's fleas! - are able to tell us about the problem of evil.


Time Travel and Free Will


Video description:
The Young Philosophers present another fascinating philosophical gem in this lecture, featuring Professor Joshua Spencer, on time travel and free will. Professor Spencer starts off by asking if time travel is possible - to which he says yes, it IS possibly, at least in theory - and then discusses what this means in relation to free will.


Bonus Video: The History of Western Philosophy in Under 5 Minutes


Video description:
If you don't have enough time for the hours of philosophy lectures presented above, perhaps this can get you started! In this video, we are treated to a clever attempt to cover the history of Western Philosophy in just 5 minutes!

Enjoy!