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VIDEO Courses: Top Yale Courses – PART II

50. The Gospel of Thomas

While ancient writers have always informed us of the existence of the Gospel of Thomas, it wasn’t until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices that the gospel became available. The gospel is a collection of sayings, or logia, that can be well explained through a “Gnostic” understanding of the world. This involves rejecting the material world in a desire for “gnosis” or a secret knowledge. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This course provides a historical study of the origins of Christianity by analyzing the literature of the earliest Christian movements in historical context, concentrating on the New Testament. Although theological themes will occupy much of our attention, the course does not attempt a theological appropriation of the New Testament as scripture. Rather, the importance of the New Testament and other early Christian documents as ancient literature and as sources for historical study will be emphasized. A central organizing theme of the course will focus on the differences within early Christianity (-ies).

  • Course: Introduction to New Testament

49. Investment Banks

This talk centers around differentiating investment banking from consulting, commercial banking, and securities trading. The talk also looks into principles formulated by John Whitehead, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, and looks into the substantial power that investment bankers have. Government regulation in light of the financial crisis of the 2000’s is also covered. Course materials are available here.

Course description:
An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Description of practices today and analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the functioning of securities, insurance, and banking industries.

  • Course: Financial Markets (ECON 252)

48. Socratic Citizenship: Plato’s Apology

This lecture starts by defending the statement that Plato’s Apology is the best introductory text for studying political philosophy. The talk centers on the Apology as a symbol for violated free expression, with Socrates justifying the role of the thinking life and it’s use in political life. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course.

  • Course: Introduction to Political Philosophy

47. Putting Yourselves into Other People’s Shoes

This talk begins by talking through the “formal ingredients” of a game, including the players, strategies, and payoffs. Game theory is then applied to situations, from defending the Roman Empire against Hannibal, to a game established in a prior class. The class focuses on questions you should ask yourself when putting yourself into others shoes (how rational are they? and do they know that you’re rational?). Course materials are available here.

Course description: This course is an introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Ideas such as dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling are discussed and applied to games played in class and to examples drawn from economics, politics, the movies, and elsewhere.

  • Course: Game Theory (Econ 159)

46. What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness, Part I

This video from introduction to psychology describes how modern clinical psychology identifies and treats a range of mental disorders. This lecture focuses on mood disorders including bipolar disorder and depression, and talks through current diagnostic criteria and treatment practices. Course materials for the same course taught by another professor are available here.

Course description:What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

  • Course: Introduction to Psychology

45. Arguments for the Existence of the Soul, Part I

This lecture outlines a number of arguments that can be offered for proof of the existence of the soul. The first argument is known as “inferences to the best explanation.” A number of segments of the course parallel the professor’s book of the same name Death, which explores the variety of questions that emerge after we accept the fact we’re going to die. Course materials are available here.

Course description: There is one thing I can be sure of: I am going to die. But what am I to make of that fact? This course will examine a number of issues that arise once we begin to reflect on our mortality. The possibility that death may not actually be the end is considered. Are we, in some sense, immortal? Would immortality be desirable? Also a clearer notion of what it is to die is examined. What does it mean to say that a person has died? What kind of fact is that? And, finally, different attitudes to death are evaluated. Is death an evil? How? Why? Is suicide morally permissible? Is it rational? How should the knowledge that I am going to die affect the way I live my life?

  • Course: Death (Phil 176)

44. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

This first of two lectures focuses on on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian relates to its major sources and influences, be they in the American tradition, or from the Bible, Paradise Lost, or the poetry of Wordsworth. The lecture also focuses on how Blood Meridian stands on its own as a meditation on history. Course materials are available here.

Course description: In “The American Novel Since 1945″ students will study a wide range of works from 1945 to the present. The course traces the formal and thematic developments of the novel in this period, focusing on the relationship between writers and readers, the conditions of publishing, innovations in the novel’s form, fiction’s engagement with history, and the changing place of literature in American culture. The reading list includes works by Richard Wright, Flannery O’Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth and Edward P. Jones. The course concludes with a contemporary novel chosen by the students in the class.

  • Course: The American Novel Since 1945

43. The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory

This lecture focuses on social theories of art and the production of art, and particularly on the Frankfurt School. The writings of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin are explored in relation to historical and political contexts: Marxism, socialist realism, and late capitalism. Adorno’s thoughts on mechanical reproduction, as well as the relationship between labor and art are expounded upon. The lecture ends by covering Benjamin’s thoughts on the use of distraction and shock in artistic presentation. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?

  • Course: Introduction to Theory of Literature

42. The Dark Ages

This lecture explores the earliest eras of Greek Civilization, explaining how small agricultural enclaves grew into power and wealth through the Bronze age, as well as how these civilizations were related to the ancient monarchies of the Near East. The lecture continues by explaining the end of the Mycenaean age, and the role that migration and warfare played in this transition, as well as the subsequent transition to Greek civilization. Currently, course materials related to this lecture are unavailable. For a listing of all history courses available through Open Yale Courses click here.

  • Course: Introduction to Ancient Greek History

41. Why Are People Different?: Differences

This lecture addresses the latest theories and research in psychology on the question of how people end up being different from one another. Research focuses on two traits in particular: personality and intelligence. Discussion goes over measurement of these, traits, as well as discussion of genetics, environment, and how traits vary across groups. Course materials are available here.

Course description: What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

  • Course: Introduction to Psychology

40. Deconstruction I

This lecture centers on general theories from Derrida as well as the origins of deconstruction. “Structure, Sign, and Play in Discourse of Human Sciences,” and “Différance” by Derrida are explored in a discussion about deconstructions central assertions: that language is by nature arbitrary, and that meaning is indeterminate. Concepts such as the nature of the text, discourse, difference, and supplementarity are talked through. Check out course materials here.

Course description: This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?

  • Course: Introduction to Theory of Literature

 

39. The Creation of an Icon: The Colosseum and Contemporary Architecture in Rome

This lecture centers around the year 68-69, when Rome had four competing emperors, and the architectural tale that emerged when Vespasian emerged victorious, and established the Flavian dynasty. Particular emphasis is paid to the skill of the Flavians in using architectural landmarks to shape public opinion. Architectural landmarks discussed include the Claudianum, the Domus Aurea, the Forum Pacis, the Baths of Titus, and the Colosseum. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This course is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner’s personal collection.

  • Course: Roman Architecture

38. Introduction to Roman Architecture

This introductory lecture moves through a variety of Roman landmarks and relates them to the theme of Roman urbanism. Through tying together a number of architectural points on buildings in Rome, Pompeii, North Africa, and across the Roman Empire, the lecture leads to a statement on the impact of roman architecture on architectural design and building practice after antiquity. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This course is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner’s personal collection.

  • Course: Roman Architecture

37. What is it Like to Be a Baby: The Development of Thought

This talk centers on cognitive development, with particular focus on Piaget, a psychologist who formulated theories on stages of development. Infant cognition, a subset of cognitive development is also addressed around the question of “what’s it like to be a baby?” Course materials available here.

Course description: What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

  • Course: Introduction to Psychology

36. Philosophers and Kings: Plato’s Republic, I-II

This lecture works through Plato’s Republic and the many ways it fits into philosophical debates, including discussions of moral psychology, justice, aesthetics, mythology, and metaphysics. Plato’s vision of an ideal city, the Kallipolis, is also fleshed out, presenting elements thought to be crucial to an ideal state by Plato. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course.

  • Course: Introduction to Political Philosophy

35. Electric Fields

This lecture introduces electric fields in the context of the second course about the fundamentals of physics. The electric field is discussed as a mediator of electrostatic interactions. The lecture also talks through the notion of the electric dipole and dipole moment and field lines. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This is a continuation of Fundamentals of Physics, I (PHYS 200), the introductory course on the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. This course covers electricity, magnetism, optics and quantum mechanics.

  • Course description: Fundamentals of Physics, II

34. Introduction to Relativity

This lecture introduces the viewer to relativity, giving a historical overview of problems in aiming to describe a single event as seen by two independent observers. The lecture covers Maxwell’s theory and the Galilean and Lorentz transformations. Class materials are available here.

Course description: This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves.

  • Course: Fundamentals of Physics

33. Introduction: Why Study the New Testament?

This course focuses on the New Testament as a historical document, instead of as scripture or an authoritative holy writing. The course attempts to expose to students to what an ancient bystander would have understood when looking at the text of the New Testament, and to reintegrate historical context into a discussion of the Bible. Course materials can be found here.

Course description: This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.

  • Course: Introduction to New Testament

32. Course Introduction: Rome’s Greatness and First Crises

This introductory lecture sets the stage for further lectures on the transitional period where an overextended and fragmented Rome begins to falter. Major themes involve an empire governed by a local elite who shared language and custom trying to control a massive and unbalanced empire. Divides such as the east-west, urban-rural, and the fact that the army had realized they could depose and instate emperors as they wished led to a time when Rome would fall, Christianity would rise, barbarians would storm through Europe, and the Byzantine Empire would live on. Course materials are available here.

Course description: Major developments in the political, social, and religious history of Western Europe from the accession of Diocletian to the feudal transformation. Topics include the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of Islam and the Arabs, the “Dark Ages,” Charlemagne and the Carolingian renaissance, and the Viking and Hungarian invasions.

  • Course: The Early Middle Ages, 284-1000

31. Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Love

This guest lecture in Introduction to Psychology stars Peter Salovey, Professor of Psychology and Dean of Yale College. The lecture centers on the dominant psychological theories of love and attraction, with discussions on how to predict attraction, and mistaken attribution of arousal as love. Course materials are available here.

Course description: What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

  • Course: Introduction to Psychology

30. Jacques Lacan in Theory

This lecture focuses on famed psychoanalytic critic Jacques Lacan outlining his general position at odds with post-Freudian “ego psychologists.” The major Lacanian themes outline in this talk center around the relationship between metaphor and metonymy, the connection between language and the unconscious, and the distinction between desire and need. Course materials are available here.

Course description: This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?

  • Course: Introduction to the Theory of Literature

 

29. Introduction to Financial Markets

This lecture features David Swenson, Yale University’s Chief investment officer, Maurice Greenberg, former CEO of AIG, and current director of HSBC, as Professor Shiller expounds on how finance is central to civilized society and the ability to manage large yet important risks. The lecture also spends some time on the importance of philanthropy, and laying out the general themes of the course. Course materials are available here.

Course description: An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Description of practices today and analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the functioning of securities, insurance, and banking industries.

  • Course: Introduction to Financial Markets

28. The Universal Principle of Risk Management: Pooling and the Hedging of Risks

This lecture focuses on the intersection of statistics and finance: probability theory. In particular, probability theory is applied to risk management through tools such as variance, standard deviation, correlation, and regression analysis. Other discussions include the use of present values and the value of streams of payment are also discussed. Course materials are available here.

Course description: An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Description of practices today and analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the functioning of securities, insurance, and banking industries.

  • Course: Financial Markets

 

 

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