Maksim Vak’s Profile

Faculty
Active 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Maksim Vak
Title
Dr.
About Me
Philosophy teacher
Academic Interests
Philosophy of ressentiment; Phenomenology; Nietzsche; Hegel; Morality of humor and humor of morality.
Instagram
Prof
Department
Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice

Courses

PHI 100 073 / Human Personality / Fall 2022 / Maksim Vak

PHI 100 073 / Human Personality / Fall 2022 / Maksim Vak

In our course we will address one of the most disturbing questions for human beings – what does it mean to be human; what makes one human? Since the beginning of philosophy humans have been understood in conjunction with animals and gods; humans mediated between nature and the divine realm. Thus, human nature was understood by the fathers of philosophy as mediation, which actualizes itself as thinking and recognition. That is, to be human is to know oneself. Aristotle famously formulated the essence of human beings as rational animals. One becomes human by understanding and controlling one’s animality. Aristotle’s definition dominated western philosophy until the XIX centuries. In our course, we will follow the transformation of Aristotelian understanding in modern time and the challenges it has faced in its transformation. Our inquiry will be organized by the dialectical opposition and evaluation of freedom and determination, obedience and disobedience, mortality and immortality, body and soul, ignorance and knowledge, happiness and misery, humanity and inhumanity, desires and their suppression, etc. We will examine the possible significance and meanings of human existence, the socialization of humanity, and its values. We will follow the development of the view on the human position in the world from humble dependence on Divine grace to the proud position of autonomous legislator and to the consequent disaster and despair of this autonomy. Throughout the course, students will cultivate their critical reading, writing, and thinking skills, and they will establish a basis for discerning the ethical significance of these foundational questions concerning knowledge, existence, and human nature.

PHI 100/ Intro to philosophy/ 1202

PHI 100/ Intro to philosophy/ 1202

In our course we will address one of the most disturbing questions for human beings – what does it mean to be human; what makes one human? Since the beginning of philosophy humans have been understood in conjunction with animals and gods; humans mediated between nature and the divine realm. Thus, human nature was understood by the fathers of philosophy as mediation, which actualizes itself as thinking and recognition. That is, to be human is to know oneself. Aristotle famously formulated the essence of human beings as rational animals. One becomes human by understanding and controlling one’s animality. Aristotle’s definition dominated western philosophy until the XIX centuries. In our course, we will follow the transformation of Aristotelian understanding in modern time and the challenges it has faced in its transformation. Our inquiry will be organized by the dialectical opposition and evaluation of freedom and determination, obedience and disobedience, mortality and immortality, body and soul, ignorance and knowledge, happiness and misery, humanity and inhumanity, desires and their suppression, etc. We will examine the possible significance and meanings of human existence, the socialization of humanity, and its values. We will follow the development of the view on the human position in the world from humble dependence on Divine grace to the proud position of autonomous legislator and to the consequent disaster and despair of this autonomy. Throughout the course, students will cultivate their critical reading, writing, and thinking skills, and they will establish a basis for discerning the ethical significance of these foundational questions concerning knowledge, existence, and human nature.

PHI 100 1200

PHI 100 1200

This course is an introduction to the methods and problems of philosophical inquiry. Students will be initiated into the major philosophical problems and theories from the ancients to the philosophers of our time – ethics, metaphysical relativism, the paradoxical relationship of happiness and goodness, human nature, epistemology, rationalism, empiricism, transcendentalism, freedom of the will, will to power, etc. Philosophy begins with the recognition of a dissatisfaction with a situation and the intention to ameliorate wrongs and harmonize the world. In our classes we will trace some beginnings of philosophy from Plato to our contemporary time. We will explore the reasons for dissatisfactions and examine the solutions offered by different philosophical schools. As we inquire into philosophical responses to dissatisfaction with world, we will address seminal values such as morality, God, truth, knowledge, as well as their origins and their influences. We will also try to see how we are mis-formed by unexamined opinions and values, and ask what might be an appropriate response to this mis-formation. We will be led in our studies by the Socratic demand for self-examination in its many modifications throughout history.

PHI 100 0800

PHI 100 0800

This course is an introduction to the methods and problems of philosophical inquiry. Students will be initiated into the major philosophical problems and theories from the ancients to the philosophers of our time – ethics, metaphysical relativism, the paradoxical relationship of happiness and goodness, human nature, epistemology, rationalism, empiricism, transcendentalism, freedom of the will, will to power, etc. Philosophy begins with the recognition of a dissatisfaction with a situation and the intention to ameliorate wrongs and harmonize the world. In our classes we will trace some beginnings of philosophy from Plato to our contemporary time. We will explore the reasons for dissatisfactions and examine the solutions offered by different philosophical schools. As we inquire into philosophical responses to dissatisfaction with world, we will address seminal values such as morality, God, truth, knowledge, as well as their origins and their influences. We will also try to see how we are mis-formed by unexamined opinions and values, and ask what might be an appropriate response to this mis-formation. We will be led in our studies by the Socratic demand for self-examination in its many modifications throughout history.

PHI 100 01

PHI 100 01

This course is an introduction to the methods and problems of philosophical inquiry. Students will be initiated into the major philosophical problems and theories from the ancients to the philosophers of our time – ethics, metaphysical relativism, the paradoxical relationship of happiness and goodness, human nature, epistemology, rationalism, empiricism, transcendentalism, freedom of the will, will to power, etc. Philosophy begins with the recognition of a dissatisfaction with a situation and the intention to ameliorate wrongs and harmonize the world. In our classes we will trace some beginnings of philosophy from Plato to our contemporary time. We will explore the reasons for dissatisfactions and examine the solutions offered by different philosophical schools. As we inquire into philosophical responses to dissatisfaction with world, we will address seminal values such as morality, God, truth, knowledge, as well as their origins and their influences. We will also try to see how we are mis-formed by unexamined opinions and values, and ask what might be an appropriate response to this mis-formation. We will be led in our studies by the Socratic demand for self-examination in its many modifications throughout history.

Communities

Teaching on the OpenLab | Summer 2022

Teaching on the OpenLab | Summer 2022

A virtual learning community for faculty who applied and were accepted to participate in the June 2022 Teaching on the OpenLab. (image credit: “OPEN” by Tom Magliery is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Projects

Teach On!

Teach On!

A space for faculty to share ideas about how to support student learning during the transition to distance learning for the remainder of Spring 2020. Please request to join if you are faculty at BMCC. Click on “Visit Project Site” in the upper right to access BMCC’s Course Continuity Resources website.