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  • This course is offered during the first half of 2023 Term 3 (Jul-Aug) period as an in-person course at the EarthDiverse Centre in Hamilton, New Zealand, live-streamed via Zoom if you live elsewhere, and as video recordings of the live sessions if you cannot attend the regularly scheduled class.

Date & Time:

  • Our 2023 Term 3 “Philosophers Behaving Badly” course meets Wednesdays from 11:00am-1:00pm beginning on 26 July 2023 (New Zealand time). This course meets for 4 consecutive weekly sessions. The final session is held on Wednesday 16 August 2023. If you live outside of New Zealand and wish to Zoom in to our live class sessions, check the nearest local Time Zone equivalent below.

Time Zone equivalents:

for live-streaming Zoom Sessions from New Zealand. If your Time Zone doesn't suit our live-streamed class, you can also access our courses by watching the live-recorded sessions that are posted to the course webpage each week, usually within 1-2 days.

  • Honolulu, Hawai’i: begins Tue 25 Jul 2023, 1:00-3:00pm

  • US Pacific: begins Tue 25 Jul 2023, 4:00-6:00pm

  • US Central: begins Tue 25 Jul 2023, 6:00-8:00pm

  • US Eastern: begins Tue 25 Jul 2023, 7:00-9:00pm

  • London, UK: begins Wed 26 July 2023, 12:00-2:00am

  • Bangkok, Thailand: begins Wed 26 July 2023, 6:00-8:00am

  • Singapore: begins Wed 26 July 2023, 7:00-9:00am

  • Tokyo, Japan: begins Wed 26 Jul 2023, 8:00-10:00am

  • Sydney Australia: begins Wed 26 July 2023, 9:00-11:00am



  • How often do philosophers of ethics call their mothers? We expect philosophers (lovers of wisdom), to live up to their ideals – those involved in the pursuit of virtue and truth. With a nod to the book of the same name, this 4-week course expands on this theme and examines philosophers who’ve fallen short of this standard, beginning with Socrates and on up to modern times with thinkers like Nietzsche and Heidegger. It’s the old adage – do as I say, not do as I do.

  • Please note that this course takes place over 4 consecutive weekly sessions.

Course curriculum

    1. Socrates, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca

    2. 20230726 T3.1 PHL303 Philosophers PDF

    3. 20230726 T3.1 PHL303 video

    1. The Enlightenment

    2. 20230802 T3.2 PHL303 Philosophers PDF

    3. 20230802 T3.2 PHL303 video

    1. Jesus, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein

    2. 20230809 T3.3 PHL 303 Philosophers PDF

    3. 20230809 T3.3 PHL303 video

    1. The Existentialists

    2. 20230816 T3.4 PHL303 Philosphers PDF

    3. 20230816 T3.4 PHL303 video

Additional Course Info:

  • Videos and PDF content of class presentations or whiteboard notes are uploaded weekly after each live session
  • Begins Wed 26 Jul 2023
  • NZ Time: Wed 11:00am-1:00pm

Week 1: Socrates, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Socrates, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca were philosophers and men of principle and high moral standards, but all of them exhibited behavioural characteristics that we today would shake our heads at and wince.

Week 2: The Enlightenment

Wednesday 2 Aug 2023

The Enlightenment and after was a time when philosophy found itself in the throes of challenge, change and turmoil. Big names like Rousseau, (founder of Romanticism), and later, Schopenhauer, came to prominence. But they were some of the most badly behaved of them all.

Week 3: Jesus, Nietzsche & Wittgenstein

Wednesday 9 August 2023

I have slotted Jesus into the 19th century alongside Nietzsche, for obvious reasons. It may not surprise those in the know that Nietzsche was a man of contradiction, but surely Jesus was a figure of exemplary virtue? But was he? The same goes for Wittgenstein in the 20th century. Contemporary philosophy has recently engaged with and revived the thinking of the Cynics and the ideas of the Sophists in the confrontation with the perennial question of what is truth and if we can ever be sure we possess it.

Week 4: The Existentialists

Wednesday 16 AUg 2023

The existentialists dominated the middle of 20th century thought. Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus are the main players here; but something about their sex lives would have certain people today reaching for the cancel button.

Meet our Instructor:

History, Literature & Philosophy Instructor Peter Dornauf, MA Dip Tchg

Peter Dornauf has taught in secondary schools, Wintec and Waikato University collectively for over 25 years. He is a well know Waikato artist, art critic and a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His book “Days of Our Deaths” serves as the basis for one of Peter’s other popular EarthDiverse courses, “A Cultural History of Death.” Peter also teaches our “The Spiritual in Modern Art” course and continues to develop additional EarthDiverse courses for future Terms.


All in-person classes are held at the EarthDiverse Centre located at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located just north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station) (entrance is located on the side of the building, see map below). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front of Anglesea Street.


Distance Learning:

This course has distance-learning options for those unable to attend the live class sessions in Hamilton. Students have three options for attending our courses once they have registered:

  • Attend in-person classes in our Hamilton classrooms at the regularly scheduled day and time.

  • Attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time.

  • Watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.

Distance-Learning options:

Live Zoom sessions or Video-Recordings

  • In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, our courses offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.

  • Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.

  • Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.

Pricing options:

All prices in New Zealand dollars and includes GST. Unwaged includes students, seniors and retirees.


  • Any Term can be taken independently of the others, and there are no prerequisites for any of the Term courses.

  • This class has no assignments, required readings, quizzes, tests or exams.

  • All classes encourage questions and group discussion.

  • PDF copies of each class presentation are posted weekly to the course webpage usually 1-2 days after each class so that you are free to focus on class content rather than taking notes. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!

  • Course fees include a short tea/coffee/snack break in the middle of each session.

  • There are no refunds for missed classes.

  • Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single class at no charge.

  • Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.


  • There are no prerequisites for this course. It is open to both adults and kids 10 years and older.