PBS and NPR Free Online Lectures

PBS & NPR are offering free online lectures. (H/T OpenCulture)

Introduction & Excerpt (Via OpenCulture)

PBS and NPR are now posting taped interviews and videos of lectures by academics, adding to the growing number of free lectures online.

Their site, called Forum Network, says it makes thousands of lectures available, including the Harvard professor Michael Sandel’s take on calculating happiness in a lecture called “How to Measure Pleasure,” and a discussion by a Northeastern University professor, Nicholas Daniloff, about the difficulties of reporting in Russia in a lecture called “Of Spies and Spokesmen: The Challenge of Journalism in Russia.”

Lecture 1: Free to Choose / Who Owns Me?

About: Libertarians believe the ideal state is a society with minimal governmental interference. Sandel introduces Robert Nozick, a libertarian philosopher, who argues that individuals have the fundamental right to choose how they want to live their own lives. Government shouldn’t have the power to enact laws that protect people from themselves (seat belt laws), to enact laws that force a moral value on society, or enact laws that redistribute income from the rich to the poor. Sandel uses the examples of Bill Gates and Michael Jordan to explain Nozick’s theory that redistributive taxation is a form of forced labor.

Lecture 2: Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

Tal Ben-Shahar discusses current research on the science of happiness and introduces ideas and tools that can actually make a difference in one’s life. The study of happiness or of enhancing the quality of our lives, has been dominated by pop-psychology (much charisma, but relatively little substance) and academia (much substance, but isolated from most people’s everyday lives). Positive Psychology, the scientific study of optimal human functioning, creates a bridge between the Ivory Tower and Main Street, making rigorous academic ideas accessible to all. Tal Ben-Shahar, instructor of the most popular course at Harvard University, discusses the findings of current research on the science of happiness and introduces ideas and tools that can actually make a difference in one’s life.

Lecture 3: Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil

Phil Zimbardo: How Good People Turn Evil
Philip Zimbardo helps us understand what causes people who began life with good intentions, to discard them.

Click Here To Access The PBS & NPR Forum Network Online Lecture Collection

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