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“Publicity was once the exclusive property of men of rank. They alone, by virtue of their stations, could make things public. During the 18th century it became meaningful to talk about “public opinion” as something formed outside the state. Today anyone with a Twitter account can make a public. In this series IDEAS producer David Cayley examines how publics were formed in Europe, between 1500 and 1700, and how these early publics grew into the concept of “the public” that we hold today.”

“All of us today participate in imaginary communities that we call publics – our Ideas broadcast assembles a virtual community of listeners – a listening public. But there was a time when making things public was the exclusive property of men of rank. Matters of state, Queen Elizabeth I proclaimed to her subjects in 1559, were fit to be treated only by “men of authority” and conveyed only to audiences of “grave and discreet persons.” By the 18th century it had become meaningful to talk about public opinion as a sovereign power formed outside the state. What happened in the intervening years to make this revolution possible is
the subject of this Ideas series.”

  • An introduction to Making Publics and to the Early Modern Period
  • The Reformation
  • Forms of Nationhood
  • The Print Revolution
  • Painting Modernity
  • Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre
  • Theatre and Publics
  • The Private Goes Public
  • The Secret History of Domesticity
  • Science and Its Publics
  • Steps to a Public Sphere
  • The News Revolution and the 18th Century Public Sphere
  • Publics and Counterpublics
  • The Public Sphere Today

You can find these episodes here.

Mark Kingwell delivers a lecture on ‘Representations of the Intellectual in Everyday Life’. Has pop culture ruined the intellectual?”

Mark Kingwell, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto

If you would like to listen to this lecture by having iTunes connect to TVO’s Big Ideas podcast, click here.

If you would prefer to browse past episodes of TVO’s Big Ideas, click here.

The episode of the Simpsons that Prof Kingwell refers to in his lecture is episode nine of season twelve, called ‘HOMR.’ You can find it online here.

Our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers.

If you’re anything like me, you find it pretty easy to write-off online degrees. Maybe it’s because of the way that most of us are exposed to them (through sidebar ads and spam), or maybe it’s just that we’re a little traditional about our academic institutions. I’m not going to argue for or against online college degrees, but I am going to point you in the direction of another great resource for learning (and maybe getting a degree along the way, who knows?).

The website that I am ruthlessly promoting this time is the Online Education Database (OEDb). The OEDb currently contains reviews of 1,048 programs from 88 accredited online colleges. In addition to being a fantastic resource for anyone interested in getting a degree online, they’ve got detailed articles about everything you’d ever want to know, the OEDb offers a wide range of articles and resources for people who simply want to take advantage of the Internet to broaden their minds. By far, the best part of this website are all the resources. They’re presented in a nice straightforward listings that make them easy to use (provided you can find them). Some recent articles, to get you interested, include:

The OEDb has some really interesting (and useful!) featured articles, so make sure to check them out. In addition to this, OEDb hosts two really awesome blogs that I strongly recommend:

    If you still don’t know why podcasts are great, this post is for you.

    I admit that it took me a while to recognize the joy of this simple tool. I had heard of the idea (podcasting), but I didn’t really register what it was about or how it related to anyone but Mac-geeks. So, I thought it might be a good idea to provide some resources for you to explore this topic yourself. Go ahead and check out what podcasting is about. Feeds are something else that you must learn to use. This is just part of becoming more Internet literate–I guarantee that it will pay off for you today. I have provided some links to start you off, here we go:


    “The UChannel (also known as the University Channel) makes videos of academic lectures and events from all over the world available to the public. It is a place where academics can air their ideas and present research in a full-length, uncut format. Contributors with greater video production capabilities can submit original productions.

    The UChannel presents ideas in a way commercial news or public affairs programming cannot. Because it is neither constrained by time nor dependent upon commercial feedback, the UChannel’s video content can be broad and flexible enough to cover the full gamut of academic investigation.” <about>

    Check out how it works.

    Neurophilosophy is the interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy. Work in this field is often separated into two distinct methods. The first method attempts to solve problems in philosophy of mind with empirical information from the neurosciences. The second method attempts to clarify neuroscientific results using the conceptual rigor and methods of philosophy of science.

    Neurophilosophy explores the relevance of neuroscientific data to arguments in philosophy of mind. Prominent philosophers in this field are Daniel Dennett and David Chalmers. Neurophilosophy makes the claim that thought, knowledge, beliefs, and reasoning are functions of the brain and will eventually be explained in terms of neurons, synapses, and the details of human brain structure. This scientific approach contrasts strongly with idealism, and/or the appeal to the existence of a Platonic soul that thinks, feels and desires. Brain based materialist explanations such as the appreciation of color vision typify neurophilosophy, whereas other approaches may involve qualia or sense data being organized by an independent mind.” <wiki>

    More on the definition and issues regarding the philosophy of neuroscience.

    Interested in more online lectures on neuroscience in general?

    Try out Nature‘s neuroscience podcast, NeuroPod.

    Also, check these out…

    Pufendorf lectures: Patricia Churchland <download>

    • What is Neurophilosophy?
    • A Perspective on Self, Agency, and Free Will
    • ‘Inference’ to the Best Decision
    • Brain-based Values

    “If science is neither cookery, nor angelic virtuosity, then what is it?
    Modern societies have tended to take science for granted as a way of knowing, ordering and controlling the world. Everything was subject to science, but science itself largely escaped scrutiny. This situation has changed dramatically in recent years. Historians, sociologists, philosophers and sometimes scientists themselves have begun to ask fundamental questions about how the institution of science is structured and how it knows what it knows. David Cayley talks to some of the leading lights of this new field of study.” <CBC Radio>

    Ideas: Weekdays at 9:05 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC Radio One (104.5 FM in Montreal)

    Broadcast Schedule:

    • Episode 1 – November 14 – Simon Schaffer
    • Episode 2 – November 21 – Lorraine Daston
    • Episode 3 – November 28 – Margaret Lock
    • Episode 4 – December 5 – Ian Hacking and Andrew Pickering
    • Episode 5 – December 12 – Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour

    Links to their episodes, once they have aired, can be found here.

    I also strongly recommend the program Quirks & Quarks on the same station.

    iTunes U Screenshot

    Education beyond the classroom.

    “iTunes U is a free, hosted service for colleges and universities that provides easy access to their educational content, including lectures and interviews, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Based on the same easy-to-use technology of the iTunes Store, iTunes U also offers typical Apple simplicity and portability. Through iTunes U, students can download content to their Macs or PCs, regardless of their location. They can listen to and view that content on their Mac or PC, or transfer it to iPod for listening or viewing on the go. Instructors can easily post and change content on their own without impacting the IT department. And, of course, students can upload their own content to share with professors or with the class.” <home>


    Welcome to OpenLearning! Here you will find the useful links to online learning material suxh as academic podcasts, video lectures, and audiobooks; in addition to posting must-see videos on topics of interest.