“ALEKS LISTENS” PODCAST
BEGINNERS PHILOSOPHY WITH ALEKS: POLITICS, BODY, AND EMOTION
WEEK 1: WORK AND DUTY
society revoles around work, commitment, obligation, and duty
however, philosophers often imagine worlds where we are more free, more creative, more self-directed than we currently are
we will ask whether work is an essential component of a human life, and what an ideal society would look like
WEEK 2: HOW TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE
our lives are filled with commitments to political and social structures and instituions
we can often use our commitments to do good—but, what does doing good actually look like?
also, people are constantly talking about capitalism—but, what actually is capitalism?
we will learn about the structure of capitalism, how it operates, and we will ask whether or not it is a good political/economic structure
we will also consider alternate political/economic structures, and identify which are the most effective at producing fair and good lives
WEEK 3: CONSCIOUSNESS AND BODY
consciousness refers to our lived experience
however, is consciousness limited to
lived experience? do others experience the world the same way i do? do non-living things experience consciousness?
we will try to locate consciousness (mind or body or other), and we will ask whether consciousness can be copied, transported, uploaded, or changed
WEEK 4: FREE WILL
free will often describes the capacity to choose how we act
however, we are impacted by our environment and biology—bias, prejudice, norms, stereotypes, hormones, etc
so, what does it mean to have free will, and do we actually have any?
WEEK 5: RESPONSIBILITY AND BLAME
philosophers often argue that we have a responsibility towards others
certain acts are good and other acts are not good
we should do certain things and we shouldn’t do others
what does it mean to be responsible (especially in the context of free will), and how/should we blame people for not doing the “right thing?”
WEEK 6: EMOTION, GRIEF, AND DEPRESSION
emotions are a central part of consciousness: they help us learn, get closer to ourselves, engage with our environment
however, are emotions actually good? do we really need to be so impacted by the world? and what is the relationship between emotion, rational/logical thinking, and mental health?