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Think like a philosopher, build like an entrepreneur
At first glance, startups and philosophy seem like oil and water. Startups are all about hustling to get things done, quick and dirty. Philosophy is about quiet contemplation, slowing down, and deep consideration. However, anyone really hoping to succeed as an entrepreneur needs also to learn to change frames of thinking, evaluate evidence critically, and argue their position powerfully — all central philosophical skills.
In the Startup Philosophy course, you will learn about key philosophical ideas, such as the nature of reality, why we need to question conventions, our epistemic boundaries, systems thinking, philosophy of money, and startup ethics. The course starts with argumentation and debate training that you will use throughout the whole course.
Ultimately, all great founders have always had the capability of seeing beyond the obvious. In this sense, they have almost without exception been capable of deep and sometimes even surprising philosophical thinking, even if they may not have been able to dress their thoughts in the garb of classical philosophy. By learning these philosophical concepts and ideas you can probe deeper into the very foundations of your ideas and ways of working.
“I liked that very different viewpoints, and approaches were brought up by the professor and lecturer(s). It was nice that there was both this introductory and a deeper learning approach on the course since philosophical concepts are relatively new to me.”
– Student feedback
You don’t need prior knowledge of philosophical concepts or entrepreneurship to be able to take this course. However, the nature of the concepts that will be discussed and practiced through the course, assumes reading of academic sources as well as studying classical and modern philosophical works. At the same time, the Aalto Ventures Program teachers will plant the concepts firmly into actual practical questions concerning starting and running a startup venture.
The grading is pass or fail, and the main teaching method is facilitated group discussions. The course is open to master’s and doctoral students at Aalto.