Pow! Bang! Kaboom! Superhero stories, first arriving on the scene in the late 1930s, are now among the most popular forms of global entertainment. The study of philosophy has been around for centuries. Power and Responsibility: Doing Philosophy with Superheroes, a SmithsonianX and Harvard Division of Continuing Education course, blends these superheroes narratives with the core areas of philosophy.
SmithsonianX has partnered with the Harvard Division of Continuing Education to bring this course from the Harvard Extension School to edX. This introductory philosophy course, led by Professor Christopher Robichaud of the Harvard Kennedy School, offers an exciting lens to interpret key philosophical ideas — metaphysics and epistemology, social and political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of mind, existentialism, moral relativism, and much more.
From Superman's embrace of truth, justice, and the American way to Wonder Woman's efforts at promoting peace rather than war, from Spider-Man's personal struggles at balancing his romantic life with his crime fighting exploits to the X-Men's social struggles with combating prejudice, Power and Responsibility: Doing Philosophy with Superheroes will give you the chance to explore philosophy through the many superhero narratives via videos, readings, and a meaningful course community. We invite both those new to philosophy and philosophy lovers to join us on this journey!
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.