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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 296 Class Central reviews

Start your review of HOPE: What Makes Us Human

  • It is a time-worth course but first, you would have to have little more than basic skills (if you are from non-English speaking nation) in English, especially in the field of philosophy. Overall, you can take time and learn this. If you don't understand, then repeat it.
  • 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.
  • 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
    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!
  • 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
    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
    An amazing course to be honest. The journey throughout the course covered every topic that would kindle the existentialist in each of us, be it god and religion, love and alienation, identity, truth, meaning and many others not to mention the epilogue of the course HOPE!, I would say my most favorite part of the course was the epilogue. The course also enabled us to discuss, raise questions and submit assignments in the gallery which actually helped us learn and introspect more into the subject in depth and give us a clear understanding of the topic. The additional resources were also of great help and really thank all the people who contributed to the making of this wonderful course. And finally Uriel Sir, loved your lectures!
  • 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.)…
  • Anonymous
    This course called HOPE was my Hope for the past weeks! Whenever I felt odd or numb or when I could not sleep, I would do a chapter and it gave me life, in the sense that it made me think and it made me feel alive. Cogito ergo sum! And it is highly imperative to mention that this course has bestowed me with immaculate knowledge and raised many critical questions. The dawn of questions was truly enlightening. It also strengthened my philosophy and has introduced me to many existentialists to whom I have developed great liking and admiration. This was no less than a revelation.
  • Anonymous
    I learned a lot from this course. From this course, I got a lot of new knowledge. This course is also very good, it doesn't get boring. This course made me think and reflect a lot on my life. The material in this course is really very good. Thank you also to the lecturer who explained the material very well. Before taking this course, I thought I definitely knew a lot about myself. But, finally after taking this course, there are still many things inside me that I haven't learned. But with this course, it helps me know myself more deeply.
  • Anonymous
    i have taken this course as part of my academic learning, researching by myself for myself.
    my plan was to do it in a month, taking my time... yet when i started going i found i enjoyed it so much and could not stop.
    the lectures are filled with old and new, creative use of movies and music makes this learning process more fun and enjoyable.
    the quiz and other participation tasks are not to hard and also enjoyable.
    thank you very much.
    i recommend this curse!
  • Anonymous
    HOPE was a very good course. It brought new ideas and made me think about things from different perspectives. The timeframe allotted enabled me to take time to mull ideas over rather than rushing though the course and not exploring the topics.

    The use of art, videos and music were effective in highlighting the topics.
  • 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
    This class was extremely enjoyable and enlightening. The best part involved synchronous zoom discussion with Uriel and other classmates, as conversations were able to grow and take interesting branching directions that prompted significant thought. Would certainly recommend.
  • Anonymous
    This was a good class. Pretty secular but Cornell is a very secular institution. Enjoyed the videos and progress tracker. Specifically enjoyed the sections on Freedom and Liberty and Death. This class will challenge you and improve your understanding of yourself.
  • 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…
  • I loved it this course made me really go into my mind to analyze almost every belief or idea I had o human life. I think that every person interested in listening different opinions of matter like life and death, the meaning of life and happiness and so on, Professor Uriel is great teaching, I really liked the way he talked and also the paintings and movies that help you to have a better understanding in the subject, also the additional resources that this course provides are great! the books articles and even music videos are things totally worth checking out. HOPE made me see things differently and expanded my way of thinking like I never thought it would
  • Anonymous
    Excellent content, the best in reflection and critical philosophical training. Only missing to include a certificate or proof of approval.
  • 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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