Center for Inquiry


For general information about our online courses,
plesae visit the CFI Institute Online.

NEW FOR 2014!
See below for our new course structure and schedule! 


Modern Humanism
CFI Institute Online Course
May 1 – May 31, 2014

Instructor: David Koepsell, JD, PhD

Modern humanism is the result of a number of significant social and philosophical changes from the direction of humanistic philosophy after the Rennaisance. Its emergence in the Nineteenth Century coincides with the rise of the success of science and technology in the West as manners of knowing and changing the world, as well as new ways of thinking about the ways philosophy can impact the world. We will examine these dynamics, and look at seminal thinkers responsible for the creation of humanism as a "movement," which is the way it is now generally perceived by humanists and non-humanisrts alike.

Discussion forums, assigned readings, and live online chats will be the means by which we explore the emergence of modern humanism. 

Click here to register for 'Modern Humanism'


Science and Its Institutions
CFI Institute Online Course
May 1 – May 31, 2014

Instructor: David Koepsell, JD, PhD

How did science develop? It is one of the most successful means of understanding nature, and yet it developed not according to some general plan or coordinated effort. Instead it evolved at the dawn of the modern age from a number of contemporaneous movements and practices. We will examine this evolution, look into the nature of its successes, and examine the necessary and sufficient conditions, values, and institutions that endure to provide us with knowledge about the universe in a way no other mode of investigation can.

Class will consist of readings, forum discussions online, and at least one live discussion online through Google Hangouts. Everyone should create a Google account in anticipation of the course so we can conduct our online discussions. 

Click here to register for 'Science and Its Institutions'


Your Instructor:

koepsellDavid Koepsell, JD, PhD, is Director of Education for the Center for Inquiry, and formerly served as Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism from 2003-2008. Since then, he has been an associate professor of philosophy at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he teaches ethics and engineering as well as research ethics to masters and PhD students. He holds a law degree (1995) and PhD in Philosophy (1997) from the University at Buffalo, and has authored and edited numerous books, as well as popular and scholarly articles, and has spoken to audiences worldwide on issues relating to civil rights, secularism, science and technology, ethics, humanism, and ontology. He has provided commentary on these topics in a variety of media outlets including: MSNBC, Fox News Channel, The Guardian, NPR, and the Associated Press, among others. His complete CV can be found at


NEW FOR 2014!
About CFI Institute Online:

This year there will be two tracks to our courses: Naturalistic Humanism (2 courses), and Science and Reason (3 courses). If you complete the courses in a track, at the end of the year you will receive a certificate in the subject. One of these courses will involve a weekend intensive seminar on location at CFI headquarters in Amherst, NY over the summer.

Naturalistic Humanism (NH) track:
(1) The Origins of Humanism (March)
(2) Modern Humanism (May)

Science and Reason (SR) track:
(1) Science and Its Institutions (May)
(2) Logic and Investigation (August)
(3) Limits of Science? (September)

For more information about our new CFI Institute structure and course offerings, please click here to visit our website!

Beside our in-house faculty and leaders within the organization who will deliver courses and special guest lectures online, at least one external lecturer/author will participate as well. In sum, you will get a world-class introduction to the subjects. Courses are online, and will involve participation in forum discussions, exercises, and live “Google Hangout” chats and classes. All you need is your computer, internet, and reading materials will generally be public-domain and provided as part of the course.

CFI Institute Online course Fees:

$60 per seminar
$100 for the 2-course "Naturalistic Humanism" track/
$150 for the 3-course "Science and Reason" track
$225 for our entire 2-track/5-course program in 2014



Explore our other educational opportunities at the CFI Education page
Questions? Email a CFI Institute representative
or phone (202) 629-2403 ext. 200.
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