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

5,616 ratings
1,313 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


Sep 02, 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.


Oct 08, 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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51 - 75 of 1,297 Reviews for Introduction to Philosophy

By Alexandra C D

Jan 28, 2016

A nice and flexible course, in which you can explore the wide range of possibilities from the minimum basic level of subject to studying all the additional material and problematics. Rather interesting functional approach to the structure of philosophical knowledge. For the foreigners (as I am) the English is quite understandable (It is subtitled, but the subtitles are not necessary if you are above B2 / IELTS 7.0 level) and at the same time sufficiently sophisticated to acquire also some useful listening practice for academic IELTS / PTE Academic tests.

By Mikhail R

Sep 03, 2015

Amazing introduction to the basics of philosophy - I wish I had such in university or at some other early point. It shows you breadth, scope and problems philosophy deals with. Course tries to maintain simplicity and clarity of explanations even for very complex things and this is exactly what you need for a subject which is normally deemed too complex for beginners or gives an explanations which for uninitiated do not add clarity and rather raise even more questions.

Loads of fun and topics which may make you think more and induce your curiosity.

By Mohammad S S

Jun 30, 2020

This is by far the best course i've taken online . As a student of science I've always found philosophy to be very compelling . I was always interested in philosophy but I didn't want to change disciplines . I didn't have high expectations of this course but at the end I really got impressed of the amount of knowledge I'd accumulated along the way. This course touches on lots of subjects and teaches lots of valuable philosophical materials . This course improved my insight and fueled my interest for philosophy .I recommend this to everyone .

By Altaf R

Mar 06, 2018

I must say its a wonderfully helpful short course for beginners. The best thing about this course to my understanding is that:

Its made easy for all those who want to study philosophy

Its modules are well wittingly selected to make such an enticing introductory course for all those who have rather a cynical opinion about philosophy as science or subject

and the free access to those reading materials and websites

I enjoyed truly every bit and parts of the this introduction to philosophy by the institute for which I will be evergrateful.

By Sahir H

Apr 29, 2020

Great packed course talking about basics. The supplementary reading was really helpful in detailing out the concepts. The topic is something that is not taught as a regular course ins school or college and hence a lot of us have skipped it. I would urge a bunch of us to try the course. The university faculty did a good compilation on every topic.

I do have a couple of feedbacks. One is around discussing moral ethics in slightly more details. The other one interesting pedagogy would be to have open discussions around topical issues.

By Sascha R

Aug 21, 2015

Great course to introduce non-professionals/beginners into major fields or topics of philosophy. Excellent quality of lessons: teachers were always good to understand, even for non-native speakers, and eager to get across main themes to disciples inexperienced in philosophical studies. Only critique: difficulty levels of exams could have been more evenly balanced.

I can only recommend this course to anyone interested in the study of philosophy; great job by the University of Edinburgh and its staff for organizing this on Coursera.

By Antonio A

Dec 14, 2019

I loved the course, I've been reading, for many years, about economics, models of economics, Marx, Mises, Hegel, Hayek, anyway, suddenly, unintentionally I watched a documentary of classical Greek philosophy and began to think differently about of things; I started reading about moral philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of science, theory of knowledge, in short, I decided to make the course and I see it as a beginning to continue preparing in philosophy. As an academic, I have changed the focus of my classes in college.

By Dan P

May 05, 2020

Having some unexpected time on my hands, I took the opportunity to explore a subject that I have had no previous experience of. I found this course liberating and took to it enthusiastically. Having spent over 40 years outside of the academic environment some of the concepts took some effort to understand, but the additional reading material helped to provide further clarity. I now find that I am thinking more clearly on most aspects of my life and would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to challenge themselves.

By francisco s m

Mar 29, 2020

Thank you for putting together the information that kept me learning and away from the Corona Virus madness. I thoroughly enjoyed every lecturer and thank the Philosophy Department in Edinburgh for providing me the opportunity to listen and see you in my monitor. At 54 years old, your blessings have enlightened my way of thinking, and certainly today I might say, I have risen my level to what the first lecture establishes: Philosophy is a better way of thinking about things.... Gratefully yours, Francisco San Miguel

By Gianfranco D

Feb 23, 2020

I've found this course interesting and engaging, as well as its lecturers. What I've appreciated most is the way as the course has been developed; questions for every single part of the lesson help the learner to reflect if the bulk of what you heard has been well understood; it's like when at school you raise your hand asking an explanation. In my opinion, I'd increase these moments of reflexion. Tests at the end of every single week allow the students to deepen into the topic. Congratulations to all.

By Amit R

Mar 19, 2020

There is a lot in the Indian Philosophy but it revolves around existence of God. Provided we accept this, the other dimensions of thoughts in Philosophy, should be added in the course content. The different theories are nonetheless very abstract ideas, at least from point of view of a person who generally studies technology, like me. So I think that must also be studied and added in the course content. The course was really enjoyable and enlightening. Thanks coursera and all professors. Thanks again.

By litongxi

Aug 11, 2019

The course renders us an insight into philosophy by introducing several branches of contemporary philosophy with some mainstream ideas and arguements, and amazingly in a clear and concise way. And many philosophical questions haven't any clear answer so that we have to think them ourselves(the start of philosophical thinking!), yet with these ideas introduced we are more targeted. Also the extra readings are really helpful and enlightening. Thanks for all your hard work to present us the course.

By Lily C

May 02, 2020

I imagine it must be very difficult to decide on the right level of challenge for random participants but this was gauged perfectly. The lectures were not over simplified and introduced often difficult concepts in an accessible but grown up way. Every lecturer was engaging and clearly fired up about their particular field. I personally found that reading the transcripts before each lecture really helped me to achieve a little familiarity with each topic before I listened to the lecture.

By Sumit D

Mar 26, 2018

A great introductory course on philosophy. It is designed and organized in a pretty scholarly manner which makes it accessible to everyone providing a clear and simple understanding of the subject. Nonetheless, I must say that this is a fairly short course, there is much more that could be added into it—such as thoughts of contemporary(20th century) philosophers. I highly recommend this to the newbies; it should provide them with an academic-like head start in the realm of philosophy.

By Dawn S

May 04, 2020

The introduction to philosophy has been a great course. I enjoyed all of the instructors. It was extremely informative, every week I learned new terms and discovered new things to share with my significant other. All that I learned and shared with him lead to lively debates. Most importantly I gained a greater understanding of philosophy, its history and the schools of thoughts that are in philosophy and best of all it has given me a thirst to really examine how I choose to think.

By Sonja W

Apr 26, 2020

I truly enjoyed completing this course! I did not believe that my brain was wired to understand the complexities, let alone the language and terminologies used in this particular area of learning. I suppose that I surprised myself. Perhaps on a personal note, I should ensure adequate Internet reception and connection at all times - being disconnected or having to reload pages continuously has proven highly frustrating. Thanks, for making International learning possible!

By Jiali S

Apr 26, 2017

I like this course a lot and have spent several days following all the lectures, for a feeling that the whole course is formulated not with a historical/overwhelmed view but aims to inspire a true interest in the ways of thinking. A discursive thought path and I've really enjoyed it. Thank you for your sharing knowledge and kind design. Besides, the materials for independent learning are good guide! At least, I know where to find trustworthy information. THANKS!

By Raghuram K

Mar 20, 2019

This was my first MOOC course that I completed successfully. It will inspire me to take more. I am an engineer and I joined this course to improve my clarity of thinking. At the very beginning the instructor Dave's definition of philosophy as the activity of working out the best way to think about things caught my interest and I learned a lot about common topics but in an intellectual way. To all the instructors and forum moderators of this course, thank you!

By Rishabh

Oct 31, 2015

Very good course, Offers insights from various domains of Philosophy, which one doesn't go in usually. And ends up discovering that there are in fact various ways to look at this subject which is an essential tool for living and constant improving our quality of life.

The University of Edinburgh has structured this course well, and the faculties, bright and deep in their domains makes you understand the contents more easily then they are.

Thank you.

By Aleksandra B

Mar 26, 2020

I have learnt about a number of fundamental topics in philosophy through lectures and materials. I have also been able to test my knowledge via practice questions and quizzes. Finally, I have conducted my own research and engaged in philosophical analysis for the final essay assignment, as well as evaluated my peers' submissions. Of particular interest and impact to me were the topics of Morality, Law, Knowledge and Testimony. Thanks, @Edinburgh.

By Abhishek s

May 30, 2020

A very insightful course to initiate the understanding about Philosophy.

Philosophy is related to each and every situation and decison we make.

And this is the course which tries to put some seeds in the brain to think broader and helps to create a better process of looking at thing/situations

All the instructer have a very deep understanding about the subject and helped alot in making and initial study through their effective teaching styles.

By Madeleine W

May 21, 2017

Couldn't have asked for a better introduction to Philosophy. The handouts and videos matched very well and gave option for different styles of learning. The text book (Philosophy for everyone) I bought on Amazon was also very interesting for extra reading and I can refer to that when learning more about Philosophy. Perfect amount of options for how much detail I wanted to learn and plenty of resources for me to check out in my spare time.

By Abner O S S

Nov 09, 2018

This course is an introduction to the topics that philosophers are talking about. It addresses, for instance, questions about the nature of knowledge, morality, philosophy of science, etc. It emphasizes on Scottish philosopher David Hume, but it does not omit other philosophical traditions on the topic they aboard. I strongly recommend it for those who are interested in developing philosophical curiosity about some specific topics.

By Azrul Z

Dec 12, 2017

This course is a great start to induce thinking about things around us. It is very mind provoking course that opens wide room of discussion concerning something we might simply take for granted in life. It also challenges the very essence of dogmatic belief or even scientific 'fact' that seems at first glance satisfies our senses but not an inquisitive mind. A highly recommended and intellectually enjoyable course.