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

4.7
stars
6,867 ratings
1,608 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.

CC
Oct 7, 2015

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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1251 - 1275 of 1,593 Reviews for Introduction to Philosophy

By Ranjan P

May 27, 2020

It was a good introduction to a complex subject. I am not sure I followed everything or found everything equally interesting. Some of it seemed very esoteric and pointless, some of it captured my interest and imagination. The course should really say Introduction to Western Philosophy because the whole world of Eastern Philosophy is left unexplored and unexamined. The lecturers were all very good but more of an attempt should be made to liven up the slides and use imagery or even videos to illustrate complex philosophical arguments. I did not find the forums or course groups to be so useful because I was a lot older than most participants and so did not have the appetite to engage in endless philosophical arguments with the passion of those who are much younger !

By Isaac R M V

Feb 13, 2017

Me gustó mucho este curso porque adquirí las herramientas básicas necesarias para iniciarme en la reflexión filosófica en general. El programa semanal contiene material relevante y breve, distribuido en dosis digeribles y precisas. Las evaluaciones fueron muy coherentes y puntuales. Solamente me permito hacer dos sugerencias: 1. Que las evaluaciones estén disponibles también en español, ya que el inglés en ocasiones me presentó dificultades de comprensión que influyeron en mi desempeño. 2. Los contenidos están muy enfocados hacia la ciencia; vale la pena incluir otras áreas (Filosofía del Arte o Filosofía de la Posmodernidad, por ejemplo).

Finalmente, les felicito por impartir este excelente curso y les doy mi más sincero agradecimiento.

By Johannes S

Apr 25, 2018

A good introduction to the doing of philosophy, bringing in an array of theorists and ideas pertaining to philosophy. All presenters communicated clearly and concisely and were able to translate information in an understandable manner. However, updated videos with better quality software and user graphics would aid in this translation. The multiple choice question assignments were frustrating at times though, as they seemed to be constructed intentionally to be misleading or unclear to artificially ramp up the difficulty of the course. I would highly recommend more qualitative assessment in the form of academic arguments structured in essay format, similar to the final peer-reviewed assignment.

By Ammar A

Jul 9, 2020

A really nice and stimulating approach to introducing philosophy. It offered the benefit of introducing the student to the way philosophers think and the type of problems they attempt to solve and, at the same time, it also gave us a good sense of how difficult of a discipline it could be. All the lecturers were pleasant, informative, and treated the material at the right level, I think. I wondered sometime about the order of the topics introduced as their seems to be some dissonance, but I am not sure I would be able to offer a solution since the approach itself almost necessitates this unseemliness. If I were to chose at the end, I would chose this approach. Thank you very much.

By Edmund C

May 31, 2017

Pretty good introduction to different philosophy topics. Format was, for the most part, easy to understand. Only complaint about the course is that each topic is covered by a different professor, and therefore varied greatly in clarity. While most did a good job, a few were very confusing, which made completing the quizzes difficult. Also, actual philosophical texts are not read first hand, but instead the overall status of each topic is described. But, it was still a good introduction to philosophy and I would recommend to anyone who's interested in philosophy and has no background knowledge on the subject.

By Andrea H

Aug 16, 2015

I think the selected topic were really interesting ones but since i´m not a scientifical backgrpund it was kind of difficult to follow some of the discussed concepts and ideas. And that was because not always these were explained from the very beginning and a lot of them were only mentioned, as it was supposed that we had to know them previously. Maybe with a little more time for the videos this would have been solved.

In any case I really enjoyed it and I think it is important to have the opportunity to watch these courses and come to learn where are the stages of these matter. Thank you for the effort!

By Majed A

Sep 11, 2020

This is great introduction to philosophy. I've benefited from the different arguments about Different subjects in philosophy. Some of the subjects didn't come to my mind as being controversial or philosophical. My favourite subjects in the course our call delete that Morality, scientific theories, and “should we believe what we hear”. First chapter was a little bit difficult which talks about what is philosophy. I wish there was chapter about critical thinking and how to use arguments reach a conclusion. I found some youtube channels that clarifiedsome of the topics in this course.

By MASHIATH U K 1

May 10, 2020

A really good primer to some important questions in philosophy. The lectures are the right size, the additional reading material is meaningful and the professors are clearly experts in their respective domains. My only possible criticism would be that *some* of the lectures are a little hard to follow for non-English speakers. This is due to the introduction of new terminology/jargon, as well as the delivery of the material. This is only a minor quibble, and I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who wants to get a brief picture of the landscape of philosophy.

By Mohsin E

May 13, 2020

This is a great starting place for someone who is interested in philosophy. I am thankful to Edinburgh and all the teachers in this course for putting out his helpful resource.

There are somethings that I believe could be done better. The quality, of course, varies week by week. Maybe it was only me or maybe it had to with topics but some weeks are much more engaging and helpful.

If you are looking for a place to study philosophy a little seriously than this brief course will introduce you to number of key branches and questions of philosophy and notable philosophers.

By Salva D

Jun 1, 2020

The Intro to Philosophy course helps make some ways toward one's academic goals. However, as I experienced, lectures are not explicitly detailed [it denies a learner of ability to handle the problems], and it maybe why re-try is tolerated to quizzes. Lecturers are out of students reach, this creates space for loneliness and helplessness, but when one shares a problem to the Forum it may not get smashed down well [I'd to install relevant Apps for assistance]. Cousera would be great if it adds a feature for student and lecturer direct contacting/messaging.

By Antonio C

Aug 18, 2015

Interesting course, though It shows me how difficult is for me to understand everything. I was difficult to follow it because the videos were too slow and sometimes I went away. besides I wanted to download the Transcriptions and sometimes it was imposible in the iPad. near the end of the course I found out that I needed to close my session on the iPad to be able to have access to my course with my laptop. It is true that I am learning English an maybe this is a hard course for me.. Or maybe it is because I am not a philosopher even If I love them.

By Boris L

Feb 12, 2016

Great lectures and nicely explained, apart from one lecture (6th - maybe it was me, not understanding the topic properly). For the future, I suggest to have more "visible" support of the lecturers; lecturers should address us directly and enage us more to interact with the content as well as our classmates. Moreover, and I am speaking subjectivily, I found all topics very simple. To deepen my understand, I would suggest to have compulsory essays to elaborate the aquired knowledge.

Thank you for your effort!

By Richard J E

Sep 18, 2020

Speakers' personality aside, the topics were great, informative, and quite a nice preliminary view on what Philosophy is and how it must be. While the topic coverage didn't really touch the slightest on what Philosophy could be, it is enough to give us a few hints on what behemoth lies beneath the surface. Take this course with a grain of salt as it may not be what you want but for those who just wanted to have a brief visit to the practice of Philosophy, this course is a good route to go to.

By Ch. R K

Jan 29, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable with all the different lecturers . I related to a lot of philosophers . Made me wish i could belong to an era where i could make use of all that was learnt and discovered and theorized at that time. It was rather brief , though. I mean there's no way to explain it all an stick to the guidelines that fit the coursera code , but enjoyable none the less. Makes you really want to scratch your brain and question everything , which I personally , believe is always a good thing.

By Sophia B P d F

Jan 20, 2020

Introduction to Philosophy is an execellent course, with great professors and many interesting lectures. Regarding these, I would like to especiallty thank dr. Suilin Lavelle and professor Elinor Mason because of their incredible lectures (Minds, Brains and Computers and Do We Have Free Will and Does It Matter?, respectively).Furthermore, I must say, unfortunately, that I was a little disappointed with the discussion forums, otherwise I would have given five stars to this course.

By Rojan S

Jul 11, 2020

The course provides you with an introduction to various concepts in Philosophy. I really enjoyed the course due to its multidimensional nature. This course can be taken by anyone who have no background in philosophy . The main limitation of this course was it mostly uses lectures only. Use of visuals or animations would have made it more easier to grasp the content. Overall the course is good and highly recommended for those interested to know themselves or the world.

By Homer P V

Aug 20, 2015

A great introduction to many philosophical areas, well planned, well tested and with very good professors. The only downsides were a couple of slightly ambiguous questions (which, having just watched an hour of philosophical teaching one could easily start wondering what they technically meant) and, to utter frustration, lack of a statement of accomplishment. Nevertheless, if philosophy is of it's own right your target, it is a course well worth taking.

By SFA P

Oct 31, 2020

I enjoyed the course despite the fact that I had a little difficulties in understanding some of the arguments that were discussed. The course taught me, to look at things in broader perspectives. Learning how history, time, environment, technology and us, as human being are all intertwined to make up our community and the world.

Special thanks to all lecturers and the Coursera community for giving me the opportunity to acquire the new knowledge.

By anthony O

Jul 28, 2017

It is my first time doing philosophy and l will say the starting of the course was quite absurd but after watching the lesson videos over again and reading the lessons notes along side it all started to sink in.

l thought l will quit the course along the way but the topics kept getting interesting and it has made me to now look and think about everything in a much better view. thanks Coursera and all who made this possible.

By Su L O

Jun 5, 2016

It is a simple and generic overview of some of the areas in philosophy, mostly contemporary philosophy. It allows me to explore some basic ideas and concepts without going too deep, which is great because it is what I am looking forward to in this course. Thank you professors, I appreciate your efforts in making the lecture appealing and reflective ( by visiting museums, wearing clocks/watches, visiting graves haha ). :)

By Noah K F

Mar 24, 2016

This course provides a comfortable introduction to the subjects of each module. My only dissatisfaction with the course lies in its brevity; I would happily retake a future offering of the course which included not only additional modules but also further lectures on related survey topics within each module so as to acquaint students to greater breadth in historical and contemporary philosophy.

By Charles E D

Feb 24, 2016

In as much as I enjoyed the course at times the dialect was difficult. However, the reason for 4 stars as opposed to 5 stars is due to a lack of ability to have receive an answer to a difficult question answered by an instructor as opposed to another class participant who necessarily did not have any better grasp of the question than myself. Given that I certainly enjoyed the course overall.

By David R

Sep 10, 2015

Great tasters to the field, would also be very interested in an overall schema of Philosophy and its various branches and maybe even supported by a major highlevel roadmap of key philosophers and major arguments as an overall introduction to the field for the novice (like me!), that is considering further study. Might be an opportunity as have not been able to find one as yet on the web .. ?

By richard d

May 6, 2020

The course content was well-delivered and lecturers excellent. All aspects of the course were fascinating having never studied or even thought about philosophy. I qualified in engineering and work in construction which is very different . Highly recommended as a starting point for those interested and forces you to re-think many aspects of traditional thinking. (in my case anyway)

By Idris I M

Jul 10, 2017

The course has been successful in organizing my thoughts with regard to several questions on general philosophy and metaphysics particularly. I have come to understand that even today, there is no correct way of thinking. More precisely, there is no correct answer and that we are free to believe in whatever seems right after keen philosophical inspection.

Thank you very much!