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Fall 22: All and Everything

Past Sessions
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 19 Kislev 5783 - 6:00 PM - 6:50 PM -
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 12 Kislev 5783 - 6:00 PM - 6:50 PM -
Tuesday, November 29, 2022 5 Kislev 5783 - 6:00 PM - 6:50 PM -
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 28 Cheshvan 5783 - 6:00 PM - 6:50 PM -
Tuesday, November 15, 2022 21 Cheshvan 5783 - 6:00 PM - 6:50 PM -
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 14 Cheshvan 5783 - 6:00 PM - 6:50 PM -

All and Everything – Consciousness, Knowledge, Truth, Morality, Values and Theories – Wide Ranging Discussion of Philosophic Issues

This class will recover some of the ground presented in our class last year, Theory of Everything.

In these sessions, we will take a philosophical approach to what there is, what we can know and what we ought to do. From those studies, we will study theories of language and consciousness and eventually drill down to spirituality and religion.

For beginners, this course will serve as a good introduction to the uses of philosophy to answer life’s deepest questions. For more advanced students, these sessions will function as a safe place to discuss.

The following is an outline of possible discussions:

We will start with ontology, or the study of being and what is. Many discussions of spirituality and religion get stuck right here. Is there anything beyond the material? What about the Divine? Our approach is that there is a reality beyond the physical – the meta-physical. What is that realm?

Our next topic is consciousness and mind. There are many competing theories on how to define consciousness and the implications of those definitions. I still point that consciousness is not coterminous with the brain, that kindness is the arena in which free will exists.

The next topic is epistemology – how do we know? Once we assume that something exists, how do we know about it? Empiricism, Natural Science and Mathematics are the foundations of what we know, but knowledge far exceeds those foundations.

Epistemology is followed by phenomenology – how we experience reality through the limitations of our senses in the structure of the human mind and brain.

Epistemology and phenomenology take us into the world of logic and rationality, how to think well and avoid common errors in thinking.

All this philosophic reflection takes us into the world of values, ethics and justice – are there better and worse answers to moral questions? And how do we define these terms, “values,” “ethics” and “justice,” and their related words, the “good,” the “right” and the “true?”

A specific world of values we can discuss is ideas of purpose and meaning in life.

Once we start dividing up human knowledge, we end up with the many realms of the humanities – social theory, legal theory, political theory, theory of religion and psychological theory, for example.

The over-arching theme in studying any text or idea is a theory of interpretation – hermeneutics. How do we know what a text or idea means and how do we apply it to our lives?

Eventually we end up with the ideas and texts of religion as ways of knowing, through symbol, myth and ritual, and the chambers of the soul.

The actual content of this series will follow the interest of the students.

$198.00 for all six sessions, one person per screen
($150.00 members of Ohr HaTorah Synagogue)

$270.00 for all six sessions, two people per screen
($210.00 members of Ohr HaTorah Synagogue)

Once you make your payment, you'll receive an automatic confirmation email with a link to register on Zoom. 
You must register on Zoom to obtain the meeting ID & PW and the weekly class recordings. 
Save the email from Zoom (as you only receive it once) and use it every week to log-in.

(Students will be sent a link to a recording of each class. The link to the recording expires after five days. We will not be able to accommodate requests for retrieval of the recording after the expiry date.)

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Sun, June 4 2023 15 Sivan 5783