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Coming in February 2016, Hank hosts Crash Course Philosophy, produced in association with PBS Digital Studios.

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[PBS Digital Studios intro]

Hank: I've got a new set! With new props like my friend Nietzsche and his sweet, but ultimately totally meaningless moustache. And I'm here in this fancy new place to dive into a very old discipline. This year on CrashCourse I am excited to be tackling some of the biggest questions yet. What is consciousness, truth, goodness? Do we even know anything and how? No seriously, Socrates, how do we know.

These are the daunting questions we're going to try to wrap our heads around this year on CrashCourse Philosophy. While I've spent the last few years teaching you different sciences, much of how we arrive at the knowledge we have can be traced back to Philosophy. Like the Socratic method of breaking things down into simpler questions to arrive at answers heavily influenced what we now know as the scientific method.

In fact, the institutional ancestors to modern universities thought of most of the subjects we now call "sciences" as philosophy. Everything was philosophy because all academic inquiry was trying to answer important questions about the world, our place in it, and establishing a reliable, trustworthy framework for answering those questions. While some of the questions in philosophy can seem a little, like, impractical, its approach to thinking about the world actually applies to pretty much everything.

Unlike other courses, this year we're going to be far less interested in making sure you know a bunch of memorizable fact -- which also means, thank goodness that I won't have to say "epithelial" again all year -- and more interested in how you think. We're gonna be talking about reasoning and logic, how do you arrive at your own conclusions, and can you explain them? These are things you're already doing every day to make decisions about your life or whether you can eat another corn dog. Your daily life already consists of tons of inductive reasoning and probably a few encounters with people whose ideas you might describe as "illogical."

But because this course is less about what you know than how you know, we're going to make you better at reasoning and hopefully even understanding that relative who posts incessant ranty status updates that drive you crazy. Maybe, we can't promise miracles. If nothing else, you'll be better able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own ideas as you go into the world. And that will make you a better anything -- scientist, economist, historian, corn dog consumer.

So join us for the big questions this year on CrashCourse Philosophy which is produced in association with our friends at PBS Digital Studios.