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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Physical Sciences by The University of Edinburgh

4.6
stars
698 ratings
143 reviews

About the Course

What is the origin of our universe? What are dark matter and dark energy? This is the first part of the course 'Philosophy and the Sciences', dedicated to Philosophy of the Physical Sciences. Scientific research across the physical sciences has raised pressing questions for philosophers. The goal of this course is to introduce you to some of the main areas and topics at the key juncture between philosophy and the physical sciences. Each week we will introduce you to some of these important questions at the forefront of scientific research. We will explain the science behind each topic in a simple, non-technical way, while also addressing the philosophical and conceptual questions arising from it. We’ll consider questions about the origin and evolution of our universe, the nature of dark energy and dark matter and the role of anthropic reasoning in the explanation of our universe. Learning Objectives Gain a fairly well-rounded view on selected areas and topics at the intersection of philosophy and the sciences Understand some key questions, and conceptual problems arising in the natural sciences. Develop critical skills to evaluate and assess these problems. Suggested Reading To accompany 'Philosophy and the Sciences', we are pleased to announce a tie-in book from Routledge entitled 'Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone'. This course companion to the 'Philosophy and the Sciences' course was written by the Edinburgh Philosophy and the Sciences team expressly with the needs of MOOC students in mind. 'Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone' contains clear and user-friendly chapters, chapter summaries, glossary, study questions, suggestions for further reading and guides to online resources. Please note, this companion book is optional - all the resources needed to complete the course are available freely and listed on the course site....

Top reviews

DL
Nov 26, 2017

Many of the mathematical elements were beyond me, but the instructors presented the material in such a way that it really demonstrated the art of philosophical thinking about the field of science.

AK
Oct 4, 2020

Thx to the professors for a wonderful overivew in understanding our universe. Also the role of the anthropic principle and philosophical approaches in advancing scientific progress in cosmology.

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101 - 125 of 141 Reviews for Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Physical Sciences

By manas s

Dec 1, 2016

well planned course

By Monica J

May 14, 2020

It's very useful

By Jennifer

Jan 9, 2019

very interesting

By CARLOS C S

Oct 22, 2020

Muy buen curso.

By Rupert M

Feb 18, 2019

Epic course!

By Sabine B

May 26, 2020

Thank you!

By Rudolph L

Nov 5, 2017

Very nice!

By Alvaro W

Aug 29, 2017

Excelent

By Chaiyawat M

Feb 5, 2019

4

By Sezin S

Apr 19, 2020

Thank you very much for your hard work on this illuminating course. It has been my first online course experience and I am leaving with a positive impression. Although I appreciate the quality and the amount of information included in these lessons, I have found that some of the content was detached. I have been taking notes in a notebook during the lessons, at times the lecture slides were sufficient and concise, at other times, they were difficult to follow and navigate. The tests have helped me see what's really important, and allowed me to complete my notes with clear definitions. The summary parts at the end of some slide notes were helpful, but sometimes there weren't any. As a philosophy BA and MA graduate, I thought the physics parts were difficult to understand, I couldn't make sense of the formulae, but I think I could follow the lectures with the additional explanations. I also found the references to Stanford Encyc. too obvious, but I have found a rich variety of reading options and videos thanks to you, which will surely expand my knowledge if I continue reading on the subject. Before the lecture, I had already taken philosophy of science classes, so I was familiar with Kuhn, Popper, the history of cosmology, and the main physics theories. Duhem, Quine's web of knowledge, and the application of the theory of underdetermination into this field have all been new to me, so again, thank you very much.

By Hely C B

Jan 29, 2018

The course is quite interesting, bringing to attention many of the most fundamental issues regarding our views of what is science and the philosophy behind it. The lecturers provide great explanations and plenty of additional readings for those more curious about the many topics.

For those with some background in philosophy of science, especially in physics, this may seem a bit too simple. Nevertheless, it is a great introduction to the topic and provide some very interesting insights even for more familiarised researchers. Definitely worth the time investment.

By Marcus B

Jul 7, 2018

Excellent course with some challenging content, very good lecturers, highly relevant. One star taken for the ending, which is missing (a summary video would have been good - finishing with a quiz is anticlimactic) - something that might reflect the current state e.g. of the discovery of primordial gravitational waves. Overall, enjoyed this very much & I have much material to read and to go through. The course really re-awakened my interest in cosmology & taught me something about the philosophy of science and where it's at (almost) right now.

By Guruswamy S

May 7, 2018

It is a great deliberation of the interaction between Philosophy and Physical-Sciences. The emphasis is on Astronomy as the representation of philosophical thought. While the focus of astronomy elucidates the conflict and comprise with "Theory of Choice" and other aspects of philosophy - the subject (Astronomy) is largely non-intrusive to day today life of the ~8 billion people. It is also a subject that is rather elitist and grandiose, while physical sciences like Climate (Earth Systems), and Geology are nearer home.

By Vinay R V

Apr 7, 2018

The course is wonderful and is the best for a person like me who is into philosophy and science. This course gives an excellent demonstration of the thought and the structure that goes into the scientific research and study. This course also gives the brief introduction to cosmology and explains the principles of philosophy giving instances in its history. The thing that I would like to see in this course improved is that the slides of come of the teachers are not in the orders of the lecture.

By Mark S M

Jan 12, 2017

The broad principles of the progress of science including paradigm shifts is interesting. The physics involved in the treatment of Cosmology is complex, but the important concepts were beautifully extracted by the lecturer. The lecture slides were a valuable resource to review before each quiz. After the course, I feel that I have tasted the flavor of the astrophysics, enjoyed it, but by no means have I begun to be an astrophysicist .

By Naoemi M E D W

Aug 20, 2020

This course was very informative and interesting. It taught me about new Philosophical questions and ideas that I have yet to encounter in my undergraduate Philosophy courses. Although, the scient part of the discussion was difficult to understand especially since I did not have a good grasp of the concepts discussed beforehand. Although, it can be understood after a few days of review and studying.

By Mohamed A

Feb 14, 2020

It's a great introductory course I recommend for everyone who interests in the philosophy of science and its aspects. One of the features, unlike many courses, is that it provides more supplementary related material in each session.

Thanks to all the staff with their beautiful souls.

By Polina M

May 21, 2020

A very interesting and useful introduction, I wish the video lectures where longer, but there's a whole lot of additional reading material after each lecture, so you can go further with learning every theme discussed by lectors!

By Andre A

Nov 23, 2019

I learned a lot about cosmology and it made me think about many aspects of Nature and existence. I was, though, expecting to learn more about philosophy of science than to cosmology. It was nice anyway. Thank you very much.

By Alejandro N R

Mar 22, 2020

This course was very interesting, many parts of it connected pretty well with my prior knowledge but game me the opportunity to clarify some doubts.

By Smruti M

Sep 10, 2017

An enlightening course that helps capture a brief history of the scientific method and aims to give some purpose to scientific pursuits.

By Mengyu T

Apr 18, 2017

A bit short. The discussions on cosmology is difficult to understand for someone like me who does not learn anything about yet.

By Deleted A

Apr 30, 2017

It was a really good course. Something very different for me. I just wish it was a litter longer than 4 weeks.

By Steve R

Sep 23, 2017

Great class. Some of the cosmology lectures were a bit hard to understand, but very interesting overall.

By Joana C N T R

Oct 10, 2019

was expecting a more generalistic (not so focused on cosmology) course on episthemology