Welcome.

David Egan has degrees in Philosophy from the University of Oxford, the University of Toronto, and Harvard University and has taught philosophy and the humanities at Oxford, the University of Chicago, and several other institutions in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He is the author of The Pursuit of an Authentic Philosophy: Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and the Everyday, published by Oxford University Press.

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We are natural-born philosophers. Almost as soon as we learn to speak, we start asking “why?” But how should we answer those questions? From Socrates to Confucius, the great philosophers agree: the best method for pursuing wisdom is in conversation.

I offer online philosophy classes for the general public that put us in conversation with great thinkers from the past and present—and, most importantly, with one another. These conversations are friendly, vigorous, and exploratory. They’re also a lot of fun.

We’ll read profound and occasionally challenging texts, but I’ll be on hand to provide guidance while encouraging students to make their own discoveries in conversation with one another. No academic background is required—just curiosity and the willingness to engage with the greatest thinkers on the biggest questions. 

Praise for past online courses

Dr. Egan’s courses have been a wonderful introduction to philosophy: well-chosen topics, fascinating readings, lucid and illuminating lectures, and skilfully-led discussions. I am eager to experience more!

David’s courses have been one of the most rewarding activities I have taken on during the past year. His readings are challenging, but always clarified in the pre-recorded lectures that follow. The group discussions are animated and interesting, making it hard to say farewell when the course ends. Above all, I appreciate how David’s courses force us to think about the ways we perceive our world and the ways we choose to live.

David is a great lecturer and facilitator with a terrific gift for explaining challenging works in a way that makes for wonderful discussions.

David is a truly exceptional teacher. He is impressively knowledgeable and articulate, although he wears his learning lightly. He manages to achieve the almost impossible feat of creating a happy and intimate atmosphere in the class although we are all online. The subjects were all well chosen, and the lectures were clear and to the point, and accompanied by very attractive illustrations.

David is the consummate teacher: erudite, organized, thorough, thoughtful and exceedingly patient and good-humoured. The reading material is excellent and highly relevant to each week’s topic. David’s video lectures are simply brilliant, in content, style and flow. I would recommend this course to anyone even mildly curious about what the “ancient” philosophers might be able to teach us today.

My brain bubbled and fizzed with viewpoints I’d never encountered, perspectives I’d never considered, thoughts I’d never challenged….a 10 week game changer! Thanks David.

David Egan is an amazing instructor who makes philosophy very accessible. It has been remarkable how he has been able to engage people with very different backgrounds to discuss and share thoughts. This course has been very enriching and has for 10 weeks been the highlight of my week.

Each session was so much fun that I was always sad when it came to an end.

David Egan does a great job constructing the course materials and managing the discussions with a gentle hand so we don’t stray too far from the topic. Meeting and getting to know the other participants was just pure joy! I have a whole new cohort of friends from different parts of the world! I highly recommend David Egan’s course for anyone who is an avid reader.

A well structured course that wove together ancient and modern perspectives on self-knowledge in an accessible and insightful way for students of any level. The readings were short, thought-provoking, and to the point. Also, David was able to make the discussions and lectures as interesting as the source material, which resulted in a well balanced and enjoyable study.