Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
Philosophy

Rebecca Goldstein

Rebecca Goldstein is an award-winning philosopher and a writer whose novels and short stories dramatize the concerns of philosophy without sacrificing the demands of imaginative storytelling.

After receiving her PhD from Princeton University, Rebecca went on to become a fellow at Harvard, Yale & Dartmouth Universities, while continuing to pursue her passions for writing and teaching. Rebecca has been awarded the National Humanities Medal By President Barrack Obama and the coveted Genius Award by the MacArthur Foundation.

In this 20 chapter Videobook series, Rebecca transports you to the genesis of philosophy through Aristotle, Socrates and Plato. Immerse yourself in the ponderings of these ancient philosophers and come out the other end with a deep understanding of the origins of science and the myriad concepts of morality and personal identity. 

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VIEW CHAPTER STRUCTURE

Chapter 1 : The Nature of Philosophy
Understand the fundamentals of philosophy. In this chapter, Rebecca introduces the concept of philosophy, reconciles the popular and the academic sense of philosophy, discusses the academic discipline of philosophy and much more.
Chapter 2 : The Historical Roots of Philosophy
Go back in time while enhancing your knowledge of the history of western philosophy and religion. In this chapter, Rebecca explores the origin of western philosophy, the discipline of philosophy in the ancient Greek world, and the widespread influence of the ‘Axial Age’ - a significant period in ancient times that gave birth to Greek philosophy and all of the world's religions and much more.
Chapter 3 : The Pre-Socratics and the Distinction Between Appearance and Reality
Discover the philosophies of some of the greatest ancient thinkers that have graced the Earth. In this chapter, Rebecca introduces ancient philosophers and the questions they pondered, the concept of natural order, pre-socratic philosophers and their hypotheses and much more.
Chapter 4 : The Socratic Method
Brush up on your knowledge of Socrates and his contribution to Western philosophy. In this chapter, Rebecca speaks on the life of Socrates in Athens, the Socratic method, and his vast influence on Western philosophy.
Chapter 5 : Socrates at Work
The euthyphro argument. Does God love morally right actions such as being charitable towards the most vulnerable among us because these actions are morally right, or are these actions morally right for no other reason than that God loves the person? These are just a few of the questions explored in the euthyphro argument. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the euthyphro argument and the Socratic dialogues regarding the notion of piety and morality.
Chapter 6 : Plato and Platonism
Uncover Plato’s contribution to the different domains of philosophy. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the foundations of platonism and how he mapped out the vast landscape of philosophy by zeroing in on the definitive questions of each domain.
Chapter 7 : Platonism and Mathematics
Is Mathematics the key to understanding the word around us? According to Plato, mathematics is the key to understanding the nature of reality; however, not all philosophers view mathematics this way. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the platonic view of mathematics as well as its competing view known as formalism, according to which mathematics can be thought of as a kind of human invented game.
Chapter 8 : Aristotle on The Question of Appearance versus Reality
The opposing philosophies of Aristotle and Plato. Although Aristotle and Plato dominated Western philosophy for centuries, they also presented, even into our own time, two quite opposed orientations. In this chapter, Rebecca explains Aristotle and Plato’s opposing philosophical orientations around the concept of God, which is represented in the famous painting at the School of Athens by the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael.
Chapter 9 : Epistemology
Brush up on your understanding of epistemology. In this chapter, Rebecca talks about the concept of epistemological claims, the emergence of epistemology as the preeminent preoccupation of philosophy in the early modern age, and the teachings of Martin Luther.
Chapter 10 : What is Knowledge?
How does one define knowledge? In this chapter, Rebecca explores Plato’s definition of knowledge and relevant counterexamples, the three foundations of knowledge, and the complexity behind belief and truth.
Chapter 11 : The Cartesian Demands of Justification
Take a deep dive into the nature of belief. In this chapter, Rebecca highlights the fundamental questions of epistemology, the definition of indexical propositions and French philosopher, René Descartes contribution to epistemology with his revered ‘I am’ proposition.
Chapter 12 : Cartesian Consequences
Enhance your knowledge on René Descartes ontological argument for God's existence. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the philosophical battle behind empiricism versus rationalism and Descartes’ proposition on God.
Chapter 13 : Baruch Spinoza: The Man Who Made Every Claim for Reason That Has Ever Been Made
Spinoza’s contribution to philosophy. Baruch Spinoza was a seventeenth-century Dutch philosopher and one of the early thinkers of the enlightenment movement who tried to reinvent religion. In this chapter, Rebecca speaks about the life of Spinoza and his contribution to philosophy, including his proposition on the laws of logic and the nature of God.
Chapter 14 : David Hume’s Famous Wrench
The Enlightenment was an intellectual, ethical, and political movement that swept across much of Western Europe in the 18th century. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the enlightenment and the key philosophers who contributed to this movement, like Scottish philosopher David Hume, whose propositions inspired that of Immanuel Kant.
Chapter 15 : Metaphysics, Naturalism, and Scientism
Gain a deeper understanding of Metaphysics, Naturalism, and Scientism. In this chapter, Rebecca teaches the foundations of metaphysics, the difference between naturalism and scientism, as well as the philosophical issues behind adopting naturalism.
Chapter 16 : The Hard Problem of Consciousness
Explore David Chalmers’ hard problem of consciousness. ‘The hard problem of consciousness,' was dubbed by contemporary philosopher David Chalmers in order to delineate and dramatize this very problem. In this chapter, Rebecca explores the hard problem of consciousness, metaphysics and what we are in relation to the rest of reality, and the hard problem of matter.
Chapter 17 : Personal Identity
Explore Descartes’ line of philosophical thinking. René Descartes has had a profound impact on philosophical views of self and human existence. In this chapter, Rebecca explains Descartes’ concept of the self, what constitutes identity of the body and the identity of the personal self.
Chapter 18 : The Dilemma of Free Will
Understand the concept of the two horns of a dilemma. Facing a choice between two equally undesirable choices is known as the two horns of a dilemma. In this chapter, Rebecca provides a deeper understanding of the two horns of a dilemma concept, psychopaths and the absence of their regretful emotions, and the notion of free will.
Chapter 19 : The Is-Ought Gap
Enhance your understanding on the metaphysics of you. In this chapter, Rebecca explores the concept of human dignity and its relation to human existence, as well as the notion of the is-ought gap coined by David Hume
Chapter 20 : Moral Theories and Epistemic Modesty
Utilitarianism and Kantianism. There are two competing moral theories in terms of which contemporary moral theorists argue: utilitarianism and Kantianism. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the difference between utilitarianism and Kantianism in relation to ethical standards of an action, Kant’s respect formulation, and a human’s moral worth in connection with utilitarianism and Kantianism.

VIEW EPISODES

Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein

Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
10:17
Chapter 1 : The Nature of Philosophy
Understand the fundamentals of philosophy. In this chapter, Rebecca introduces the concept of philosophy, reconciles the popular and the academic sense of philosophy, discusses the academic discipline of philosophy and much more.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
15:40
Chapter 2 : The Historical Roots of Philosophy
Go back in time while enhancing your knowledge of the history of western philosophy and religion. In this chapter, Rebecca explores the origin of western philosophy, the discipline of philosophy in the ancient Greek world, and the widespread influence of the ‘Axial Age’ - a significant period in ancient times that gave birth to Greek philosophy and all of the world's religions and much more.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
10:18
Chapter 3 : The Pre-Socratics and the Distinction Between Appearance and Reality
Discover the philosophies of some of the greatest ancient thinkers that have graced the Earth. In this chapter, Rebecca introduces ancient philosophers and the questions they pondered, the concept of natural order, pre-socratic philosophers and their hypotheses and much more.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
9:14
Chapter 4 : The Socratic Method
Brush up on your knowledge of Socrates and his contribution to Western philosophy. In this chapter, Rebecca speaks on the life of Socrates in Athens, the Socratic method, and his vast influence on Western philosophy.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
7:40
Chapter 5 : Socrates at Work
The euthyphro argument. Does God love morally right actions such as being charitable towards the most vulnerable among us because these actions are morally right, or are these actions morally right for no other reason than that God loves the person? These are just a few of the questions explored in the euthyphro argument. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the euthyphro argument and the Socratic dialogues regarding the notion of piety and morality.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
11:51
Chapter 6 : Plato and Platonism
Uncover Plato’s contribution to the different domains of philosophy. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the foundations of platonism and how he mapped out the vast landscape of philosophy by zeroing in on the definitive questions of each domain.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
9:28
Chapter 7 : Platonism and Mathematics
Is Mathematics the key to understanding the word around us? According to Plato, mathematics is the key to understanding the nature of reality; however, not all philosophers view mathematics this way. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the platonic view of mathematics as well as its competing view known as formalism, according to which mathematics can be thought of as a kind of human invented game.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
11:55
Chapter 8 : Aristotle on The Question of Appearance versus Reality
The opposing philosophies of Aristotle and Plato. Although Aristotle and Plato dominated Western philosophy for centuries, they also presented, even into our own time, two quite opposed orientations. In this chapter, Rebecca explains Aristotle and Plato’s opposing philosophical orientations around the concept of God, which is represented in the famous painting at the School of Athens by the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
8:35
Chapter 9 : Epistemology
Brush up on your understanding of epistemology. In this chapter, Rebecca talks about the concept of epistemological claims, the emergence of epistemology as the preeminent preoccupation of philosophy in the early modern age, and the teachings of Martin Luther.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
10:37
Chapter 10 : What is Knowledge?
How does one define knowledge? In this chapter, Rebecca explores Plato’s definition of knowledge and relevant counterexamples, the three foundations of knowledge, and the complexity behind belief and truth.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
9:45
Chapter 11 : The Cartesian Demands of Justification
Take a deep dive into the nature of belief. In this chapter, Rebecca highlights the fundamental questions of epistemology, the definition of indexical propositions and French philosopher, René Descartes contribution to epistemology with his revered ‘I am’ proposition.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
8:55
Chapter 12 : Cartesian Consequences
Enhance your knowledge on René Descartes ontological argument for God's existence. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the philosophical battle behind empiricism versus rationalism and Descartes’ proposition on God.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
12:28
Chapter 13 : Baruch Spinoza: The Man Who Made Every Claim for Reason That Has Ever Been Made
Spinoza’s contribution to philosophy. Baruch Spinoza was a seventeenth-century Dutch philosopher and one of the early thinkers of the enlightenment movement who tried to reinvent religion. In this chapter, Rebecca speaks about the life of Spinoza and his contribution to philosophy, including his proposition on the laws of logic and the nature of God.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
11:28
Chapter 14 : David Hume’s Famous Wrench
The Enlightenment was an intellectual, ethical, and political movement that swept across much of Western Europe in the 18th century. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the enlightenment and the key philosophers who contributed to this movement, like Scottish philosopher David Hume, whose propositions inspired that of Immanuel Kant.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
8:22
Chapter 15 : Metaphysics, Naturalism, and Scientism
Gain a deeper understanding of Metaphysics, Naturalism, and Scientism. In this chapter, Rebecca teaches the foundations of metaphysics, the difference between naturalism and scientism, as well as the philosophical issues behind adopting naturalism.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
11:34
Chapter 16 : The Hard Problem of Consciousness
Explore David Chalmers’ hard problem of consciousness. ‘The hard problem of consciousness,' was dubbed by contemporary philosopher David Chalmers in order to delineate and dramatize this very problem. In this chapter, Rebecca explores the hard problem of consciousness, metaphysics and what we are in relation to the rest of reality, and the hard problem of matter.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
14:07
Chapter 17 : Personal Identity
Explore Descartes’ line of philosophical thinking. René Descartes has had a profound impact on philosophical views of self and human existence. In this chapter, Rebecca explains Descartes’ concept of the self, what constitutes identity of the body and the identity of the personal self.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
10:29
Chapter 18 : The Dilemma of Free Will
Understand the concept of the two horns of a dilemma. Facing a choice between two equally undesirable choices is known as the two horns of a dilemma. In this chapter, Rebecca provides a deeper understanding of the two horns of a dilemma concept, psychopaths and the absence of their regretful emotions, and the notion of free will.
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
12:38
Chapter 19 : The Is-Ought Gap
Enhance your understanding on the metaphysics of you. In this chapter, Rebecca explores the concept of human dignity and its relation to human existence, as well as the notion of the is-ought gap coined by David Hume
Learn Philosophy with Rebecca Goldstein
12:44
Chapter 20 : Moral Theories and Epistemic Modesty
Utilitarianism and Kantianism. There are two competing moral theories in terms of which contemporary moral theorists argue: utilitarianism and Kantianism. In this chapter, Rebecca explains the difference between utilitarianism and Kantianism in relation to ethical standards of an action, Kant’s respect formulation, and a human’s moral worth in connection with utilitarianism and Kantianism.

Credits

Host – Rebecca Goldstein. Director – Desh Amila. Producer – Shannon Norton. Cinematographer – Lauren Foley. Scriptwriter – Rebecca Goldstein. Research – Nadeesh Jayasinghe. Video Editor – Sion Freed | Nadim Sham | Pawara De Silva | Kiran Irugalbandara. Graphic Designer – Nadim Sham | Hash Wickramanayake . Colorists – Tharindu Hashan | Ranidu Madushan. Animator – Ksenia Smirnova . Titles – Nadim Sham | Pawara De Silva. Sound Design – Nisal Gangodage. Audio Mixing & Mastering – Nisal Gangodage. Cameraman – Kevin Greene. Trailer – Peter Cramer. Special thanks – Dr. Meredith Doig | Damson Nguyen | Collins Nguyen | Rashida Bhurhani.

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