Erasmus University Rotterdam launches a new MOOC on the Politics of Skepticism

In a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) philosophers of Erasmus University Rotterdam will take you on a tour along some of the defining moments of the history of Skepticism, its religious and political ramifications, as well as its continuing philosophical relevance for science and society today. Shot on location in Rotterdam, Haarlem, Oxford, and Hamburg, Wiep van Bunge, professor of the history of philosophy and Tim de Mey, assistant professor in theoretical philosophy, address The Politics of Skepticism.

From the most fundamental issues to direct applications

In the MOOC ‘The Politics of Skepticism’ the history of Skepticism from the ancient Greeks to today, with special attention to the political ramifications of questioning man’s ability to know the world and himself with any certainty. First, Van Bunge and De Mey discuss the debates raging between Plato and the Sophists, the rise of Christianity in the Roman world, and the so-called ‘Skeptical Crisis’ of the Renaissance as well as Pierre Bayle’s Skepticism and David Hume’s. In addition the Natural Law tradition will be explored and the relationship between Skepticism and Conservatism.

In the second part, we explore the systematic relations between Skepticism and politics. What is skeptical doubt? When is doubt relevant? How does Skepticism relate to tolerance and to freedom of expression? And can it help us to solve political problems not only in a critical, but also in a creative way?

This course bridges the gap between theory and practice, between the sharpest, conceptual and foundational problems on the one hand, and the most direct, historical and systematical applications to politics on the other hand. 

For whom?

This course is meant for all those interested in one of the most fundamental issues in the philosophy: how to justify our cognitive claims about the world we inhabit, including its deities, its societies, and ourselves?


Sign in for the MOOC on Coursera from May 22 onwards. You can start at any moment you like and finish the course at your own pace. You will receive feedback on your assignments by other participants


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