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Social Studies

Human Nature: A Very Short Introduction

Learn two major views of human nature by reading classic texts with a professor of philosophy!
Benjamin Keil, PhD
11 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 2 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
Meets once
50 minute class

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Class Experience

At the class’ end, students should be able to understand and explain Hobbes and Rousseau’s views of human nature.  Students should also be able to explain and justify whose view they find to be more plausible.
I am an Instructional Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Illinois State University and I have taught philosophy for the past ten years.  I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy (University of Kansas, 2015).  Additionally, I have taught these particular excerpts in my philosophy classes approximately ten times.  
Since this is a one-time class, homework is neither assigned nor collected.
Your instructor will provide readings from Hobbes' "Leviathan" and Rousseau's "The Social Contract" in both PDF and .docx formats.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
No assessments will be administered.
50 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
In this class we will discuss what humanity would be like in the absence of authority (including governmental authority).  Hobbes will argue that humanity is ultimately self-interested and violent, and he gives analogies to war and capital punishment.  Rousseau argues that private property causes class-based resentment and that violent social revolution is justified.
Readings from Hobbes' "Leviathan" and Rousseau's "The Social Contract" will be provided in both PDF and .docx formats by the professor.


Benjamin Keil, PhD
Lives in the United States
"...[B]ut we in our green youth have to settle the eternal questions first of all."
11 total reviews
11 completed classes

About Me

My name is Dr. Keil and I am a philosopher.  Philosophy concerns itself with "the eternal questions" of human existence.  For example, what is it to be human and how should we live?  These are inherently controversial questions and philosophers... 
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