Professional Course

HOPE: What Makes Us Human

edX, Online
10 weeks
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
10 weeks
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

HOPE: What Makes Us Human

Why breathe? Why breed? Why bleed? What justifies continuing, creating, and killing lives? Seeking answers to these thorny questions, Princeton University and Tel Aviv University have joined hands to create HOPE, a unique online journey into the heart of humanity – at both its brightest and its darkest, in private and in public. Turning to existentialism for guidance, HOPE (Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism) explores a dozen themes: Human/nature, identity & authenticity, freedom & liberty, reflection, happiness, death & dread, meaning, morality, truth & trust, God & religion, alienation & love, and finally – hope.

HOPE is driven by alarm – and aspiration. Alarm about a daily crime against humanity we all commit: Seeing people as puppets, pushed and pulled by forces that leave them “no choice.” Never have we been more powerful, and more prone to lose what made us so. We are an endangered species. Pandemics, climate change, environmental degradation, AI, nuclear weapons are some of the existential risks we face. But what is the point of saving human beings if we forget and forgo what it means to be human?

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  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

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Course delivery details

This course is offered through IsraelX, a partner institute of EdX.

3-5 hours per week

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • The tenets, thinkers, and concepts of existentialism
  • What distinguishes humans from animals and machines
  • The meanings of identity and authenticity and how they impact politics
  • The nexus between liberty, freedom, bad faith, and reflection
  • Types of happiness and the point of pursuing it—privately and publicly
  • The importance of death and dread in our lives
  • How people seek meaning and legitimacy through truth, morality, and religion
  • The interplay of love and alienation, and the use of both in politics
  • What, and how much, we may hope for

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