Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Introduction to Psychology - Open Yale

Among the wide variety of university lecture series I (try to) follow on podcast are also series from Yale. In the past I have reported about Game Theory, Ancient Greek History and The Hebrew Bible and now I have taken up another one in selected offerings: Introduction to Psychology by Paul Bloom (feed). Note that in the past these courses were not available in feeds. For more information check Open Yale Course Feeds and Huffduffer feed for Yale course on Hebrew Bible by Christina Hayes.

Bloom's series kicks off in a fantastic fashion and even while I have only proceeded onto the fourth lecture, I can already recommend the course heartily. Bloom is a very engaging lecturer who makes his field accessible, interesting and compelling at the same time. Frequently he is even outright entertaining. So far this is clarifying and fun at the same time.

I'd like to pick out the second lecture in which he elegantly takes on the common sense notion that we are a duality of body and mind, or brain and soul if you wish. He jumps ahead to the modern state of affairs where we have learned so much in neuro-science that we have begun to understand how fundamentally physical we are, even our psychological processes. Just as noteworthy is his third lecture in which Bloom picks up Freud, gives a quick entry into his thought and then manages to finish, before the hour is past, to explain why Freud is widely condemned as being unscientific and yet what of his theories continue to influence the field of psychology. This second lecture can be seen on video on YouTube and on Open Culture.

More Open Yale:
Devising your own podcast feed (with The Hebrew Bible),
Open Yale Course feeds - Game Theory and Greek Classics,
The Hebrew Bible - Open Yale,
Introduction to ancient Greek history,
Game Theory.

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