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Why are things beautiful?

Community contributionCommunity contribution
Why are things beautiful? Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Intermediate level Duration 30 mins Updated 21 Nov 2014
The concept of beauty is explored in these short animations. 

What does it mean to be free?

What does it mean to be free? Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Intermediate level Duration 30 mins Updated 14 Nov 2014
These series of animations explore the question: what does it mean to be free? 

OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Beauty and morality

Featuring: VideoVideo
OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Beauty and morality Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Nov 2014
Philosopher Angie Hobbs discusses Plato's ideas concerning beauty and its connection with morality.

OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Free will and the brain

Featuring: VideoVideo
OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Free will and the brain Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 04 Nov 2014
Do we have free will or are our thoughts and actions pre-determined? Neuroscientist Paul Broks tackles this question in this episode of A History...

OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Religious freedom

Featuring: VideoVideo
OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Religious freedom Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 04 Nov 2014
Theologian Giles Fraser discusses the religious stance on freedom in this episode of A History of Ideas. 

Hold the hurrahs; let's have a viva: Testing Russell Brand's ideas

Hold the hurrahs; let's have a viva: Testing Russell Brand's ideas Creative commons image Credit: Eva Rindali under CC-BY-SA licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 30 Oct 2014
Giving Russell Brand a platform for his vague ideas is worrying if we don't treat them with due rigour, argues Robert Herian

OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Positive and negative freedom

Featuring: VideoVideo
OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Positive and negative freedom Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 21 Oct 2014
Philosopher Angie Hobbs talks about two kinds of freedom –  negative and positive –  in this episode of The History of Ideas....

Halloween: What’s the devil got to do with it?

Halloween: What’s the devil got to do with it? Creative commons image Credit: Geckoam under CC-BY-NC-ND licence
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 20 Oct 2014
Why is Halloween, an evening traditionally used to honour the deceased, now associated with all things spooky and gruesome? 

Capitalism: Beyond repair or awaiting a fix?

Capitalism: Beyond repair or awaiting a fix? Creative commons image Credit: Dominic Alves under CC-BY licence
Duration 15 mins Updated 03 Oct 2014
The 2008 financial crisis still thrums underneath political debate six years on - have we missed a chance to rework capitalism? Does it even need...

Is it ever morally acceptable to visit a mass murder site?

Is it ever morally acceptable to visit a mass murder site? Creative commons image Credit: Veronica Olivotto under CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 licence
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 23 Sep 2014
Why are ‘Jack the Ripper’ tours or visiting sites of genocide in Auschwitz or Cambodia deemed acceptable but the more recent ‘Yorkshire Ripper’...

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The moral equality of combatants

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
The moral equality of combatants
Advanced level Duration 16 hours Updated 03 Dec 2014
The unit introduces and explores the idea of the moral equality of combatants and discusses the question of the basis of liability to killing in...

Two concepts of freedom

Free CourseFree Course
Two concepts of freedom Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 20 hours Updated 14 Nov 2013
What defines individual freedom in a civilised society? Philosophers have argued over such questions for centuries. This unit looks at various...

Introducing philosophy

Free CourseFree Course
Introducing philosophy Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 8 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Ever wondered what it would be like to study philosophy? This unit will introduce you to the teaching methods employed and the types of activities...

Minds and mental phenomena: An introduction

Free CourseFree Course
Minds and mental phenomena: An introduction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 11 May 2012
This unit examines the philosophical questions surrounding the mind. You will examine how beliefs have changed over the centuries and be able to...

Introducing consciousness

Free CourseFree Course
Introducing consciousness Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 19 Oct 2011
What is consciousness? How does the brain generate consciousness and how can a science of the mind describe and explain it adequately? This unit...

Imagination: The missing mystery of philosophy

Free CourseFree Course
Imagination: The missing mystery of philosophy Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 23 Jun 2011
What is imagination and can philosophy define it in any meaningful way? This unit will introduce you to some of the possible answers to these...

Language and thought: Introducing representation

Free CourseFree Course
Language and thought: Introducing representation Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 23 Jun 2011
How does what you say come to mean something? Does what you say inherently represent what you, the speaker, think it means, whatever that might be,...

Emotion: An introductory picture

Free CourseFree Course
Emotion: An introductory picture Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 23 Jun 2011
What is emotion? This unit takes a philosophical approach to this question in an attempt to understand why people respond to events in a certain...

Philosophy: The nature of persons

Free CourseFree Course
Philosophy: The nature of persons Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Masters level Duration 15 hours Updated 22 Jun 2011
What is a person? This unit examines this philosophical question concerning the nature of personhood. You will examine whether a ‘person’ is the...

The Arts Past and Present: Ireland

Featuring: VideoVideo AudioAudio
The Arts Past and Present: Ireland Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University 2008
Introductory level Duration 50 mins Updated 09 Feb 2010
Do we use our buildings to declare who we are? How far does our heritage influence our collective identity? This insightful album reveals Ireland's...

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Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

BA/BSc Open degree

CourseCourse
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3000 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a statistic we’re proud of – the BA/BSc Open is one of the most...

Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
Why study the arts? Apart from sheer enjoyment, these subjects give you an enormous breadth of cultural literacy while training you to think and...

BA (Honours) Humanities

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Humanities Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
This degree in humanities offers a broad-based grounding in the study and enjoyment of the arts and humanities – covering a fascinating variety of...

Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
The Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities will help you refine your skills of debate and analysis while developing your cultural literacy. It...

BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
Philosophy and psychology seek to answer profound questions about us, our minds, our behaviour, and our place in the social and physical universe....

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014
Where do social order (and disorder) come from? How can we make ourselves richer, and does society always gain? What does justice mean, how do we...

Postgraduate foundation module in philosophy

CourseCourse
Postgraduate foundation module in philosophy Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Masters level Duration 600 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014 Register by 05 Dec 2014
Gain postgraduate-level skills in research, analysis and presentation of an argument, and explore some of the contemporary debates in philosophy on...

Issues in contemporary social and political philosophy

CourseCourse
Issues in contemporary social and political philosophy Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Masters level Duration 600 hours Updated 22 Dec 2014 Register by 12 Dec 2014
Building on the philosophy foundation course, explore issues going beyond simply academic philosophy – citizenship, nationalism, democracy and more...