Courses tagged with "Humanities" (12)
The Buddha said that human suffering—ranging from anxiety to sadness to unfulfilled craving—results from not seeing reality clearly. He described a kind of meditation that promises to ease suffering by dispelling illusions about the world and ourselves. What does psychological science say about this diagnosis and prescription—and about the underlying model of the mind?
Introduces students to (i) the history of Buddhist contemplative traditions in India and Tibet (meditation, yoga, mindfulness, visualization, etc.), (ii) innovations in scientific research on understanding such contemplative practices, (iii) recent adaptations of such practices in multiple professional and personal areas, and (iv) the practices themselves through brief secular contemplative exercises.
The letters of Paul are the earliest texts in the Christian scriptures, written by a Jew at a time when the word “Christian” hadn’t yet been coined. What is the religious and political context into which they emerged? How were they first interpreted? How and why do they make such an enormous impact in Christian communities and in politics today?
Archaeological materials and ancient writings will help you to enter the ancient Mediterranean world and to think about religious groups, power, poverty, health, and the lives of elites and slaves in the Roman Empire. We’ll explore how immediately controversial these letters were, and how these letters are used today to debate relations between Christians and Jews; issues such as love, law, and grace; and topics such as charismatic Christianity, homosexuality, and women’s religious leadership.
Whether you’ve been studying Paul’s letters for years or are merely curious about what Christian scriptures are, this course will provide you with information to deepen your understanding of the ancient contexts and present-day controversies about these texts.
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This philosophy course has two goals. The first goal is to introduce you to the things that philosophers think about. We will look at some perennial philosophical problems:
- Is there a God?
- What is knowledge, and how do we get it?
- What is the place of our consciousness in the physical world?
- Do we have free will?
- How do we persist over time, as our bodily and psychological traits change?
The second goal is to get you thinking philosophically yourself. This will help you develop your critical reasoning and argumentative skills more generally. Along the way we will draw from late, great classical authors and influential contemporary figures.
To help enhance your learning experience, this course offers instructor grading. If you choose to pursue a verified certificate, a professional philosopher will carefully read, grade and comment upon your work. Though all residential philosophy courses at MIT, and other major universities, offer instructor grading, this is an innovation in the world of MOOCs. Students will test their ideas against, and receive individual advice from, professional philosophers. We believe that this is the best way to learn philosophy.
Verified learners will be eligible for the MITx Philosophy Award and (for students presently in high school) the MITx High School Philosophy Award. The awards will be given for outstanding written work by the MIT Philosophy Department. In addition, award winners will be profiled on the MIT Philosophy website.
NOTE: Enrollment for instructor grading will be capped.
L'objet de ce cours est d'étudier l'articulation entre les prises de position et les théories politiques des philosophes français du XXème siècle et leur philosophie fondamentale, voire leur métaphysique. Le parcours proposé sollicite l'étude de textes entre autres de Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Cavaillès, Weil, Levi-Strauss, Althusser, Foucault, Deleuze, Lévinas, Derrida...
This course will introduce you to the major topics, problems, and methods of philosophy and surveys the writings of a number of major historical figures in the field. Philosophy can be - and has been - defined in many different ways by many different thinkers. In a scholarly sense, philosophy is the study of the history of human thought. It requires familiarity with great ideas understood through the various major thinkers in world history. In its most general sense, philosophy is simply the investigation of life’s “big questions.” We will explore such fundamental questions in several of the core areas of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of religion. With the help of commentaries and discussions from a number of contemporary philosophers, we will read and reflect on texts by major Western and non-Western thinkers including Lao Tzu, Buddha, Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Saint Anselm, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, John Locke, Immanuel…
How and why was the Bible written? Drawing on the latest archeological research and a wide range of comparative texts, this course synthesizes fascinating recent research in biblical studies and presents a powerful new thesis: Facing catastrophic defeat, the biblical authors created a new form of community—what today we would call "peoplehood." Their achievements bear directly on modern questions of politics, economics, and theology.