Online Philosophy Courses

Life is busy. Our days get so filled with practical matters that we can lose sight of the bigger picture. Philosophy is about getting that bigger picture in view and examining it carefully.
I offer ten-week online courses where we discuss important works of philosophy from the ancient world to the present and across a range of philosophical traditions. We meet once per week for 75 minutes over Zoom. These meetings are accompanied by asynchronous video lectures, usually 30 to 50 minutes in length.
My aim isn’t simply to teach philosophy but to create a community where we learn together. The principle that inspires our discussion classes is simple: Socrates discovered 2400 years ago that the best method for doing philosophy is in conversation. The weekly video lectures provide expert guidance, unpacking the arguments and framing the issues for discussion. But those lectures are just a prelude to the main event: a structured conversation between curious and open minds.
These courses don’t promise any practical benefit. The point is to step back from our practical concerns and inquire into the “big questions” about life and its purpose that the demands of daily life so often distract us from.

Courses Available


Humans and Other Animals


January 11 - March 22, 2023

Non-human animals are everywhere in our lives: they’re food, they’re pets, they’re pests, they’re sources of clothing and other products, they’re experimental subjects, they’re the mascots of sports teams and the heroes of children’s stories. Depending on their role, we treat them with affection, indifference, cruelty, or sentimentality. They’re different from us, but also a lot like us in many ways. Thinking about how we regard animals will inevitably involve thinking about how we regard ourselves.

This course considers some of the ethical questions that inevitably arise when we think about animals: what duties do we have to them, and how do those duties differ from the duties we have to our fellow human beings? But we will also ask broader questions about human nature and animal nature. What kind of life do we share with other animals, and what do our attitudes toward animals reveal about our attitude toward our own embodied existence?


An Introduction to Philosophy in Ten Dangerous Ideas

Self-Guided Online Course

New Format! Do you want to study philosophy at your own pace and schedule but with expert guidance to help you along? This self-guided online course gives you access to texts, video lectures, and additional resources, as well as the option of one-on-one meetings with David to discuss the material.

The best philosophers are unafraid to follow a line of reasoning wherever it might lead. Sometimes their reasoning leads them to surprising places. This course offers an introduction to philosophy by way of ten arguments that challenge us with bold, and sometimes unsettling, conclusions. Our survey covers philosophers from the Greek, Chinese, Buddhist, and Islamic traditions, as well as contemporary thinkers.

View sample video lectures from past courses​

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