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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Philosophy by The University of Edinburgh

4.7
stars
7,844 ratings
1,840 reviews

About the Course

This course will introduce you to some of the main areas of research in contemporary philosophy. Each module a different philosopher will talk you through some of the most important questions and issues in their area of expertise. We’ll begin by trying to understand what philosophy is – what are its characteristic aims and methods, and how does it differ from other subjects? Then we’ll spend the rest of the course gaining an introductory overview of several different areas of philosophy. Topics you’ll learn about will include: Epistemology, where we’ll consider what our knowledge of the world and ourselves consists in, and how we come to have it; Philosophy of science, where we’ll investigate foundational conceptual issues in scientific research and practice; Philosophy of Mind, where we’ll ask questions about what it means for something to have a mind, and how minds should be understood and explained; Political Philosophy, where we'll investigate whether we have an obligation to obey the law; Moral Philosophy, where we’ll attempt to understand the nature of our moral judgements and reactions – whether they aim at some objective moral truth, or are mere personal or cultural preferences, and; Metaphysics, where we’ll think through some fundamental conceptual questions about free will and the nature of reality. The development of this MOOC has been led by the University of Edinburgh's Eidyn research centre. To accompany 'Introduction to Philosophy', we are pleased to announce a tie-in book from Routledge entitled 'Philosophy for Everyone'. This course companion to the 'Introduction to Philosophy' course was written by the Edinburgh Philosophy team expressly with the needs of MOOC students in mind. 'Philosophy for Everyone' contains clear and user-friendly chapters, chapter summaries, glossary, study questions, suggestions for further reading and guides to online resources. Please click "Start Here" and navigate to the "Optional Reading" page for more information....

Top reviews

LT
Sep 1, 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and find that it encouragingly sets some directions, and of course, raises my excitement for further study into some of the different fields of philosophy. Thank you.

AG
Apr 10, 2021

Great explanations that is broken down with examples for understanding. Quizzes test for your understanding of the topic rather than just the textbook explanations. Challenging and thought revoking.

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26 - 50 of 1,833 Reviews for Introduction to Philosophy

By Juan C M P

Nov 17, 2020

¡Excelente curso! Vale la pena darle un vistazo. Siempre he creido que en un mundo donde cada vez la reflexión y el pensar se subestiman, menos humanos somos. Puedo decir que la filosofía es el acto humano por excelencia. El cuestionarse y formularse cosas es una de las facetas mas humanas que atañe la gran mayoria de las cosas que rodean nuestra vida. Una vida con filosofia es una vida enriquecedora y una forma de crecer. Agradezco la oportunidad que ha brindado la University of Edinburgh y Coursera para que las personas tengan acceso a este gran curso.

By Robert O M T

Mar 15, 2019

Es un curso dinámico que te brinda una variedad de temas a lo largo de cada semana de clases, de los cuales el estudiante puede elegir libremente el tema de su mayor interés; además, considero que los profesores están capacitados para dictar cada clase. Sugiero y agradeceré puedan continuar con una segunda parte del curso, enfocándose en temas más relacionados entre ellos.

By María P M

Jun 24, 2020

Excelente curso. Plantea varias situaciones en donde el pensamiento filosófico ha demostrado ser sumamente importante de una manera simple y entretenida. Los profesores hablan muy claro y muestran un conjunto de puntos de vistas completos que te van haciendo pensar sobre diversos temas, y te abren la mente a ideas nuevas e interesantes.

By May B

Jun 15, 2020

I had never taken a philosophy course before until now, as someone in my 30s. I found the course to be fascinating, and the lecturers were all great. I especially found the lecture on free will really thought-provoking. The course has really opened my mind up to new ways of thinking. Thank you!

By Lorie M N E

Jul 26, 2020

I highly recommend this course for those individuals who would like to challenge themselves intellectually in every aspect and subject matter. This course gave me a lot of knowledge. Thank you Coursera and Thank you to the University of Edinburgh.

By Sahara Z F

Jun 28, 2020

It is an excellent course for anyone who is interested in knowing more about philosophy and philosophical questions. The lectures are short and very informative! I would highly recommend this course.

By David M

May 20, 2021

"Introduction" may be too bold a word for this vast topic, but I thought it was loads of fun. I followed a couple of the referenced podcasts to ease my separation anxiety.

By Aylet G S

Mar 24, 2019

It is a worthwhile course that makes you reflect, it is full of complementary information and bibliography. Highly recommended.

By Riana G

Jul 25, 2020

Truly brilliant professors that make the course easy and engaging.

By Darshna R

Dec 3, 2019

Loved the course structure. They are thought-provoking and give an idea of how to approach questions from a philosophical point of view. The most important thing was that there is no right or wrong answer, but to question and even look back to the reason behind our question.

One thing which was not right was that some of the links in open access sections gave "404:Not Found". Please make sure all the links at least take us to the given study material. But nonetheless, the content is amazing.

By José L C

Jun 19, 2019

Es una manera muy interesante de adentrarse al terreno filosófico puesto que se revisan temáticas vinculadas con la ética, moral, filosofía política, historia de la filosofía, epistemología, etc. Para un primer acercamiento es recomendable; la desventaja es el idioma de los artículos y el doblaje de sólo algunos temas.

By Phoebe W

Jul 27, 2020

The course itself was extremely interesting and I have walked out of it with a solid understanding of basic philosophy. I found the iPhone app to be riddled with glitches and had multiple issues where quizzes were not logged as completed which was quite frustrating.

By GOH J Y

Aug 17, 2015

Well. It really covers the basic and foundation of Philosophy. I myself, love quotes about life and all. As such, when it comes deep down to these, I didn't really enjoyed the course as much as I thought I'd. Nevertheless, this is a decent introductory course if you are looking to know a slice of Philosophy. Do take note that a lot of reference with regards to the past philosophers are introduced as well. You are basically fed with all their beliefs. But do take them as a pinch of salt. What matters the most are your thoughts and views. Keep them open!

By Robert C

Aug 2, 2020

Not that bad of a course for anyone who wants a brief overview of just some of the topics of the discipline of philosophy; the professors, for the most part, were engaging throughout the video lectures although I felt that they definitely could've done a better job with summarizing certain concepts (not dragging on the lectures with more examples/scenarios), especially for the quizzes at the end of each lesson/module. Some of the concepts are a bit hard to grasp, but then again...it's philosophy.

By logan j

Aug 4, 2017

I felt as though this class was rather superficial although I loved the content. I felt that the women in the last few weeks were really competent and explained their material very well. Dr. Matthew Chrisman I thought was like many who study philosophy, pretty much like a sophist, can sound super intelligent but I feel that he lacks the ability to explain properly. The questions after his section I felt were out of left field.

By Shrey A

Nov 2, 2020

Good course for someone who is beginner and someone who is there to explore different perspectives on some of the most thought provoking ideas of human and it's existence. However there isn't much you can do apart from watching an instructor and taking multiple choice quizzes (which often don't challenge you much) in this course. As I said it's a good course if you have no idea or insight about the topics.

By louise c

Aug 24, 2015

The course content is very superficial. The pass mark is very high for a course I had taken because of a mild interest. You have to get 80% to pass. One unit in particular was very confusing. It took me 7 attempts to pass it as I had no idea what the first question was about and there was no guidance as to what I was doing wrong.

By Kaavya M

Jun 19, 2020

This course outlined topics in many separate categories, but its clarity of ideas was not well communicated. Diagrams and images within videos would have been extremely useful as well. My only other critique is that Week 1 contains lessons that are extremely unnecessary and obvious. Otherwise, interesting course!

By Anthony R

Apr 15, 2020

Disappointing. It's almost an Introduction to the History of Philosophy rather than to Philosophy. We're asked to learn about the different currents & who said what, rather than to think about the topics.

By Lydia C

May 13, 2021

Do not pay for a certificate. You will not get one and there is no refund. Do not do the peer review assignment. No one will read it. You will not receive any communication from the University. Other courses have figured out how to issue a certificate and engage students. This is not one of them. I advise students to take it for free and be satisfied with the video content.

By Gabriel B

Jan 28, 2019

Content doesn't include any of the interesting aspects about philosophy and starts off in a droll. If this were my first introduction and I didn't know philosophy otherwise, instant interest kill.

By Héctor O

Jan 8, 2016

During lessons you don`t receive enough information to be able to pass the exams

By Alex S

May 8, 2020

I feel so lucky to be living in an age that learning like this is available for free.

I thought that the course was great, the topics were interesting and all the lecturers did a good job (especially as this isn't how they normally teach, so a lot of this must have been new to them too).

There are only two things I'd improve if this was possible- and neither of them should detract from my rating but I hope it will be useful for the course organisers.

The first is that sometimes I felt that the quizzes weren't that related to what the lecturer had been telling us- some of the questions seemed to discuss slightly different concepts to what had been taught. I don't think this is a major problem and most things could be worked out, but I think the correlation between the lessons and the quizzes should be reviewed.

The second is that I think the lecturers should consider, if they update the course, that many of the people who take it will not have English as a first language. Although all the lecturers spoke well, one spoke a bit too fast in my view and another had an accent that made it hard for me to understand all of the concepts they were introducing, especially the concepts that were new to me. As I am a native speaker, if it is hard for me it might be hard for some other people too- and some of the discussion comments etc bear this out.

Overall however, I just wanted to recommend the course and to thank everyone involved. It was a dream of mine to one day do a philosophy course like this, so I feel I've been given a real gift.

By Kevin R

May 26, 2020

I decided to take this course because I've been interested in philosophy for a long time, yet studied computing and online and distance education academically. Meanwhile, I've read a lot of books on philosophy, theology and psychology over the years and always thought these would be subjects I'd study in my retirement years. So, when this current pandemic came to disrupt my usual schedule, I began by reading some books that I thought would keep me mentally active throughout this period of time. But then, I thought, wow; I've actually got the perfect opportunity to do a MOOC on some of these subjects and gain a verifiable certificate. Excellent.

You don't need to have studied Philosophy at all before doing this course; it's very well presented and I've found it very clear and easy to follow. It's given me a sense of achieving something whilst I've not been able to go to work, so that has also made it absolutely worthwhile doing. I'm now feeling like I can actually fit in a more courses throughout the remaining time I have on this planet. Thank you to everyone who put this course together, I've loved it.

By Hui J H

Sep 27, 2015

When I enrolled for this course, I was really just looking for a definition for the word 'philosophy'. Boy did I get more than what I bargained for!

Instead of going down the usual historical path and looking at the philosophers in just chronological order, the lecturers at the University of Edinburgh have divided the topic into broad strokes, covering the big ideas (and their related writers) that have driven philosophical debate till today. They made sure every topic linked up, so we could understand materialism as the opposite of dualism, rather than in isolation from other avenues of thought. If I want to, I could definitely take my studies in philosophy much further, knowing now where to look!

My only minor gripe would be the strong focus on Western philosophers and little mention of other cultural views, however, it would be unrealistic to ask for short online lectures to cover all of human thought endeavours. Hopefully other courses exist so all students can take a global approach to philosophy!