• Summer Semester
  • Spring Semester
  • Fall Semester


Virtual Dao – Chinese Philosophy on the Web

Prof. Yoav Ariel
The course is intended as a historical survey of the major philosophical schools in ancient China, including Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, Daosim, Yin and Yang School and School of Names. Through digital presentations, videos, blog posts, lectures, discussions, and reading of primary sources such as Confucius’ The Analects and Laozi’s Dao De Jing, we will focus on the central ideas of ancient Chinese philosophy and explore how these ideas were developed throughout Chinese history. We will also discuss how China's philosophical heritage affect the lives of today's Chinese, and the tension created by this heritage and modernity. The course will also focus on the basic principle of Chinese aesthetics and its role in Chinese culture and on the ethical correlation between the painting quality and the moral integrity of the painter.


Causality in Philosophy and Science

Dr. Itzik Yosef
This course attempts to arrive at a better understanding of the meaning of the causal relation between events. Prima facie, it seems that the concept of causality is necessary to the way we perceive the world, in science, in philosophy and in our mundane life. We all generate everywhere and all the time statements of the kind "A is the cause of B". Therefore, a better understanding of the concept of causality is an active field of research in philosophy, in machine learning and many more fields of knowledge. We will first examine the general accounts of causality in philosophy in order to give a reductive explanation to the concept (e.g., causality is the transfer of energy and momentum between two events, or causality is a psychological feature of our consciousness along with a model that describes how causality works in the brain). Then we will examine the specific use and meaning of the concept in physics, biology, law and history. We will eventually attempt to answer the question whether causality in necessary for making science, or just useful until we have a more accurate model of a certain phenomenon.


The Sociology of the Internet

Dr. Ofer Nordheimer Nur
The course surveys the cultural origins, social conditions and various discourses that have shaped and generated what is termed cyber culture (how life online changes us as individuals and as groups). At the core, we examine what cybernetic space does to human interaction, to knowledge and knowing and to society and politics. We examine the ambivalence towards technology as shaping society and culture. We begin with an introduction to the science and discourse of cybernetics as it developed since the late 1940s. We examine the ambivalence towards technology and the various cyber discourses from the point of view of those who justified its redeeming and even utopian qualities and follow closely the historical development of the internet as a culture and as a product of the Information Society. Temporary configurations of techno-social participation and concepts such as public participation, participatory inequality, civic technoscience, feminist data science, community science, and data ideologies.


Mind, Cognition, and Technology in the 21 Century

Dr. Oren Bader
The course examines the impact of the current digital revolution on human consciousness and cognition. Ample evidence indicates that the innovative technologies of the 21st century alter human attention, memory, and brain functions, and profoundly influence how we act, remember, and acquire information on everyday environments.  Another important aspect of the use of new technologies, highlighted by current debates in the philosophy of mind, is that they often shape how people are conscious of their world. We will take a close look at the intriguing relationship between humans and new technologies and ask ourselves how the human-technology interface impacts consciousness and cognition at the beginning of the 21st century and whether the changes we see in our time are unique.
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