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Tel Aviv University

HOPE: What Makes Us Human

Tel Aviv University via edX


Why breathe? Why breed? Why bleed? What justifies continuing, creating, and killing lives? Seeking answers to these thorny questions, Princeton University and Tel Aviv University have joined hands to create HOPE, a unique online journey into the heart of humanity – at both its brightest and its darkest, in private and in public. Turning to existentialism for guidance, HOPE (Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism) explores a dozen themes: Human/nature, identity & authenticity, freedom & liberty, reflection, happiness, death & dread, meaning, morality, truth & trust, God & religion, alienation & love, and finally – hope.

HOPE is driven by alarm – and aspiration. Alarm about a daily crime against humanity we all commit: Seeing people as puppets, pushed and pulled by forces that leave them “no choice.” Never have we been more powerful, and more prone to lose what made us so. We are an endangered species. Pandemics, climate change, environmental degradation, AI, nuclear weapons are some of the existential risks we face. But what is the point of saving human beings if we forget and forgo what it means to be human?

HOPE is a reminder, a wake-up call, and a guide, to what sets us apart and brings us together, as humans – seeking purpose for our special species. HOPE spans 44 short talks with numerous interactive, educational, tasks. It is the most media-rich online course today, including thousands of works of art, meticulously curated and with copyrights secured, including paintings, photographs, songs, as well as brief segments from tv shows and films. HOPE further introduces original animations, music clips, and videotaped interviews and panels. HOPE is profoundly interdisciplinary and requires no previous professional or academic knowledge – just curiosity about our humanity. It is suited to all ages and levels of education, and anyone can enroll. The course is offered, free of charge, in English, with captions in English, Hebrew and Arabic, and soon French and Spanish as well.

Launched in 2018, HOPE received instant global acclaim, awarded the best online course. Since then, HOPE consistently tops rankings of online courses, worldwide; it’s an all-time #1 online course in political science and philosophy, leading the social sciences and the humanities (among over 5000 courses). Tens of thousands of daily learners, academic (including leading universities) and non-academic, spanning all ages, from over 140 countries, partake in HOPE. You are very welcome to join them and begin your own journey.

Taught by

Uriel Abulof


4.9 rating, based on 287 Class Central reviews

Start your review of HOPE: What Makes Us Human

  • This is a course with an innovative approach and a deep reflection. With a brilliant organization and exposition of topics, we are immersed in relevant issues of our time, analyzing concepts underlying our human existence. This course is a journey g…
  • So much material to read and consider. I feel like I have a better understanding of humanity and life after considering the works of some of the greatest thinkers of all time!

    The final chapter, Hope, was particularly relevant to me as we studied the picture of Hope and heard the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it is true that life and people bring disappointment which can be very hard to live with, and that hope and fear are two sides of the same coin. Yet it is hope that keeps us alive, working towards doing good.
  • Very intriguing and entertaining course weaving the viewer through the realms of philosophy, politics, art, literature, cinema, and music. Enjoyed the ideas and questions presented and the ways that they were. The primary purpose of this *odyssey* is to get you to think - to introspect and reflect upon your life and our world. And in that regard, it succeeds entirely.
  • Anonymous
    אחד הקורסים הכי חווייתיים ומעשירים שיצא לי לקחת! אני מרגיש שהוא תרם לי מאוד ברמה האישית.
    נקודה שחשוב לי לציין היא לצערי מכיוון שאני נאלץ לקחת את הקורס הזה במסגרת כלים שלובים, אני עמוס נורא במחויבויות של התואר עצמו ויצא מצב שעודף המחויבויות של הקורס זה (הגשת הבחנים והגשות של myhope והמטלה המסכמת + המבחן) לאט לאט עם העומס התחלתי להתייחס אליו יותר כעוד נטל וזה הקשה עליי להוציא את המיטב מהמסע שהקורס הזה מוציא אותך אליו.
    אני חושב שאפשר היה לוותר על מעט ממחויבויות הקורס כדי להקל על הסטודנטים ולאפשר למידה אפקטיבית וחוויתית יותר עבורנו (בייחוד עבור סטודנטים כמוני ממקצועות ההנדסה והמדעים המדויקים שקורס כמו זה מהווה אתנחתא ממסלול הלימודים הרגיל).
    תודה על הקורס, היה מעולה!
  • Sorcha Crowley
    This course is one of the richest and most thought-provoking courses I've taken. It combines philosophy, arts and politics to challenge our notions on a variety of topics ranging from identity, love, hope to alienation, death, god and many more. The…
  • Anonymous
    It was truly an incredibly undertaking! The course allows you to complete it in your own time, so there is not pressure to complete, and you can truly delve into the lectures, rewatch them if necessary, and be inspired by the myriad of questions posed in the videos and discussions. The content chosen is extremely relevant to the overall topic, and a perfect journey towards philosophy and politics, examining key issues of the modern day through both the individual and collective lens. The course provides one with a new outlook on the world, and aids us in better navigating our humanity and our own place in society. Truly, an enriching experience that all should undertake.
  • Anonymous
    במסגרת התואר השני, אנחנו נדרשים לבחור קורסי בחירה. כשקראתי את הרציו של הקורס משהו משך אותי, אבל לא בהכרח ידעתי להגיד למה. הגענו לשיעור הראשון והיינו מספר תלמידים שמתעניינים בשאלה של למה? איך? מי אמר את מה? ואיך העולם הזה מתמודד עם האתגרים השונים או…
  • Donny Astor
    I finished the course HOPE, offered by Princeton (Edx). I completed 30 other MOOC before taking this one. This was the Captsone of the previous 30 MOOC. The title of the course itself draws you in like a magnet. It has 2 Names ! 1.) HOPE. 2.)…
  • Nodi Garcia Garcia
    I learned all the basic information about existencialism, liberalism, love and humanity. One of the most important thinks for me are that love is something imprescindible in all life. The science, the authors that support this information are very scientists and are the higher philosophers. The freedom and the humanity has a relative with the real life and all the history in the course had performed and change my mind becouse knowledge is power in this century.
    I appreciate your all knowledge and dedication in this course! I really loved it!
    Sincerely, Nodi Garcia
  • Anonymous
    The course was very well done-
    The professor did an excellent in the presentation of the topic in each video
    The resources were great and related well to each topic
    I audited the class so I cannot comment on the exercises and assignments
    I did do the quizzes and I found them very helpful in ascertaining if I was understanding
    the subject matter of each lesson.

    While the course was well done , I however found it extremely depressing and will not
    be taking any other classes on Existentialism
  • Anonymous
    This course, was taking by as a student a the Hebew University of Jerusalem.
    I can't explain in words, how deeply involved one can get with this course.
    It's questions, not allowing much space to manipulate answers to the course or to myself, or the limiting and decisive answers, was like a bold mirror to one's thoughts.

    Will recommend this to anyone who defines himself a curious person.
  • Anonymous
    Really interesting discussions about topics that should be relevant for everybody. I really liked the integration of art like music and movies into the lectures - it made the lectures more engaging for me and it was a pretty unique approach (to my knowledge). The constant use of visualizations in every part of the lectures made it so there weren't any dull moments.
    Reccomended :)
  • Anonymous
    This is one of the best courses ever, it dives deeply into philosophy, art, music, culture and humanity to present you with life's Big Questions; Why Breathe, Why Breed, Why Bleed.

    This course must appeal to anyone that is interested in Philosophy and Humanity and what makes us Human.
  • Anonymous
    I prize the course that was very much needed during a personal learning journey on artificial intelligence. It is important to know what makes us human in an era in which non-human intelligence is spreading and challenges are growing. Hope has been an unusual and thought-provoking course.
  • This course HOPE: Human Odyssey To Political Existentialism has ignited my interest in philosophy and political science. It has lead a path to self-discovery as well. Existentialism is finding meaning and purpose in this imperfect world. It is a phi…
  • Anonymous
    Wow what a great course. I did not expect to enjoy the course so much. I learned a lot and a lot of doors were opened for me to a lot more questions and fascinating topics that I didn't know before. Thanks to the course team.
  • Anonymous
    Incredibly engaging. The course provided insights that I don't believe I could have accessed anywhere else. The course is also formatted in a matter that is simple to digest, while still remaining highly informative.
  • Anonymous
    A very interesting and well made course. It is clear alot of thought as well as time and engery where invested in creating it.
  • Anonymous
    This was an excellent course. It was super interesting and covered many topics I do not often cover through a unique lens.
  • Denis OSullivan
    Absolutely outstanding! I have taken many many courses, both online and in class, this is one of the best, most provocative, most interesting, most insightful. Uriel is a fantastic lecturer and teacher, but more than that, he has clearly spend a hug…

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