Javy's Courses: Philosophy, Humanities, & Psychology

You can learn about a few of the college courses I teach from the syllabus excerpts below.

About Professor Javy W. Galindo

Javy has an eclectic teaching background that includes having instructed courses in philosophy, humanities, psychology, consciousness studies, creative thinking, critical thinking, statistics, and more. He has been a popular instructor at Heald College, John F. Kennedy University, and De Anza College, located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Javy enjoys incorporating humor, film, games, and various other teaching tools in class when possible.

Professor Galindo also has a diverse educational background that consists of a master’s degree in consciousness studies specializing in East/West Philosophy and Religion from John F. Kennedy University, and both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from UC San Diego. He is a proud member of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, and the Western Positive Psychology Association.

Being a former 10+ year professional in the high-tech industry, Javy has a passion for relating course material to real world experiences for his students. As a result, he is now most well known for his engaging college courses and public talks, his enthusiastic teaching style, and his ability to convey complex ideas in personally meaningful, simple terms. These characteristics are reflected in his published works, including his creative thinking text “The Power of Thinking Differently: An imaginative guide to creativity, change, and the discovery of new ideas.” His latest book will be released June 2014: “Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails: A philosopher’s simple guide to joy, satisfaction, and a meaningful life.”



Courses Taught & Syllabus Links (Past Courses)

*FYI: If you are a current student looking for your class website, please email me. You will not find it here.


Course Descriptions & Student Learning Outcomes (Objectives)

Course Description We all live with some basic underlining assumptions of how the world works. Philosophy, in a broad sense, is the search for truth and knowledge about these assumptions. Hence, we are all philosophers whenever we ask questions that expand our knowledge or challenge our assumptions. This course will encourage students to challenge their assumptions through an investigation of the nature of reality (metaphysics) and the philosophy of knowledge (epistemology). In particular, throughout the course students will review several philosophical arguments and participate in class discussions that address the following five major questions: What is real? Who, or what, am I? How do I know anything? Do I have any choices? If choices exist, how should I choose to live my life?

Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will have accomplished the following:

  • Explored what philosophers have said on the meaning of philosophy as love of wisdom.
  • Identified and articulated philosophical problems pertaining to the nature of knowledge and reality.
  • Compared approaches and attempted solutions to these problems from a variety of philosophical traditions.
  • Reviewed the practical applications of epistemology and metaphysics to a person’s quality of living.

Course Description Whether or not one considers themselves to be religious, we all live our lives based on a personal working hypothesis of how the world operates—our worldview.  For the majority of human history, the human worldview has primarily been a religious one. As a result, religious belief has played a central role in human behavior and in our quality of life. This course will encourage students to be more conscious of their own worldview by examining various philosophical issues pertaining to religious belief, religious experience, religious practice, and religious interpretations of reality. Our examination will include traditional and modern philosophical explorations of various religions including, but not limited to, esoteric and exoteric dimensions of western, eastern, primal, and nature-based religions. Students will exit the course having tackled several of life’s big questions concerning the existence of God, the problem of evil, the ultimate nature of reality, the efficacy of religion, and the purpose and meaning of life.

Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Identify, discuss, and explain how religious dimensions of life fall under the scope of philosophy.
  • Identify, discuss, and explain the ways philosophers analyze the religious dimensions of life.
  • Identify, compare, and contrast philosophical critiques of religious beliefs.
  • Articulate the place of religion in a variety of cultural contexts
  • Articulate the relationship between religion and everyday life.

Course Description The magnificence of the three pound, tofu like organ known as the brain is exemplified in the arts, sciences, and in its ability to regulate the complex human body. However, neuroscience has revealed that psychological suffering is often self-imposed by this very same organ; the product of a brain programmed by genetics for survival and conditioned by popular culture. The result is a brain that is unconsciously biased towards perceptions that lead to fear, frustration, and continual dissatisfaction. Our class will pursue the wisdom of conscious living by reflecting upon how the brain shapes our thoughts, perceptions, and emotional responses. Students will investigate the philosophical implications of these ideas in order to gain unique perspectives on the nature of human happiness, creativity, compassion, and authenticity. Additionally, students will engage in games, creative exercises, mindfulness practices, and other activities to gain a felt sense of these ideas and to embody these new perspectives.

Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain what role neurophysiology plays in behavior and human happiness.
  • Critically reflect upon how neuroscience may affect philosophical issues pertaining to epistemology, personal identity, free will, the validity of religious beliefs, and others.
  • Describe and compare various experiential practices meant to nurture consciousness transformation through neural self-rewiring.

Course Description For most of its modern history, psychological research has primarily been focused on studying maladaptive emotions and behaviors while paying little attention to happiness and optimal human functioning. For the past two decades, the relatively new field of positive psychology has been attempting to correct this imbalance by researching the fulfilled individual, the thriving community, and other features of a flourishing life. This course will provide an introduction to the psychology of human happiness. Students will explore the latest research in the field of positive psychology and learn several practices that can be used to enhance a person’s quality of living. Through lectures, discussions, videos, and hands on exercises, students will gain knowledge of how to help themselves and others live happy, satisfying, and meaningful lives.

Course Learning Outcomes: At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the psychological roots of human unhappiness.
  • Explain why happiness is more of a choice than an object to pursue.
  • Teach others, or implement in their own lives, scientifically backed exercises and habits to experiencing a life full of more joy, satisfaction, and meaning.
  • Compare and contrast the findings of modern positive psychology with the wisdom of eastern psychology and other spiritual traditions.
  • Create a Personalized Inspirational Guide to Well-Being for themselves or clients.

Course Description As we get older, life grows in complexity, and so too grows our list of responsibilities and problems. Unfortunately for many of us, our ability to access creative solutions to the tribulations of life simultaneously weakens as our creative faculties atrophy over time. Complacency, creative blocks, fear, doubt, self-criticism, and various restrictive habitual thinking patterns slowly replace our once playful, imaginative spirit. The result is that many of us become less conscious of the depth of meaning and creative choices accessible to us. Whether we are in need of an innovative business idea, ways to overcome artistic blocks, a new approach to personal or global issues, or are having to deal with the need for a creative career change, it is critical to think creatively — beyond our ordinary thinking habits. Through this highly interactive course, students will be challenged to think beyond social conditioning in order to access multiple perspectives and become more conscious of creative possibilities in their lives.

Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will have accomplished the following:

  • Students will have been exposed to a broad, cross-disciplined approach to creativity by exploring this topic through the lens of neuroscience, psychology, business, art, spirituality, and by examining real world examples of creative individuals.
  • Compared the difference between critical and creative thinking, and examined how the two complementary cognitive faculties can be implemented for optimal living.
  • Through lecture, discussion, improvisational activities, games, and self-reflection, students will have further exercised their innate creative thinking skills and gained knowledge of psychological obstacles inherent within the creative process.
  • Students will have learned how the latest research into creativity advocates the need for a greater sense of play, a sense of humor, and provides greater reason to appreciate mythology, poetry, and religious practices.

By the end of the course students, will have developed a greater comprehension of the significance of creativity in maintaining a healthy society and in accessing a more meaningful life.

Course Description Have you ever been persuaded to hold an opinion, cast a vote, make a purchase, or make a life altering decision by the way someone talks rather than what was actually said? Have you ever made a mistake in judgment or done something that you later thought was foolish? Sometimes these mistakes can lead to a chuckle and shake of the head, but other times our lapse in judgment can lead us down more painful roads. This course introduces and examines the role of formal and informal methods of reasoning in several forms of discourse. We will focus on the cultivation of critical thinking skills and the ability to carefully analyze an argument. Students will learn how to make decisions and come to judgments based on what is said rather than how something is said.

Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Identify and analyze a variety of rhetorical and argumentative techniques
  • Analyze and assess a variety of rhetorical and argumentative texts
  • Develop original complex arguments
  • Apply these tools to real-world decision-making and philosophical analysis.

Course Description We hear it, see it, smell it, taste it, and live within it all of our lives, yet many of us are unaware of its impact on our choices, preferences and values. For many Americans, the result is that we have become programmed by popular culture to behave and pursue happiness in ways that are not necessarily in our best interests. This course will encourage you to become more consciously aware of the impact popular culture has on your life. The course will have you examine various artifacts of popular culture (including television shows, movies, advertisements, music, historical events, fashion trends, and much more) and analyze their meaning and significance to your worldview. In particular, students will take a closer look at how popular culture has perpetuated archetypal myths related to personal identity, love and relationships, materialism, and the pursuit of happiness.

Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will have accomplished the following:

  •  Established a vocabulary with which they can critically analyze popular culture.
  • Reviewed the evolution of various aspects of American popular culture from the 1950s through the 1980s, to present day.
  • Critically assessed current American popular culture and identify the various beliefs and values that are perpetuated by its artifacts.
  • Reflected on some personally significant artifacts of popular culture in order to become consciously aware of the positive and negative influences it has had on their lives.

Course Description Students learn theories and concepts of behavior, perception, and personality. Topics include biological, physiological, and cognitive processes, learning and motivation, emotion, lifespan development, social behavior, and applied psychology.

Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  •  Apply an understanding of human behavior to relationships with others.
  • Name the basic units of the nervous system and how sensory input affects human behavior.
  • Describe how heredity, conditioning, and environment affect development.
  • Identify the dynamics of group behavior.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Scientific Method
  • The Role of the Brain in Human Behavior
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Developmental Psychology
  • States of Consciousness
  • Conditioning and Learning
  • Intelligence, Creativity, Problem Solving
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Personality
  • Social Behavior
  • Psychological Disorders

Coming Soon: Supplementary material for book discussions.

If you’re interesting in using one of my books as a textbook for a class or workshop, I’ll be soon posting worksheets to help you facilitate discussions and engage in practical exercises.