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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Buddhism and Modern Psychology by Princeton University

5,048 ratings
1,697 reviews

About the Course

The Dalai Lama has said that Buddhism and science are deeply compatible and has encouraged Western scholars to critically examine both the meditative practice and Buddhist ideas about the human mind. A number of scientists and philosophers have taken up this challenge. There have been brain scans of meditators and philosophical examinations of Buddhist doctrines. There have even been discussions of Darwin and the Buddha: Do early Buddhist descriptions of the mind, and of the human condition, make particular sense in light of evolutionary psychology? This course will examine how Buddhism is faring under this scrutiny. Are neuroscientists starting to understand how meditation “works”? Would such an understanding validate meditation—or might physical explanations of meditation undermine the spiritual significance attributed to it? And how are some of the basic Buddhist claims about the human mind holding up? We’ll pay special attention to some highly counterintuitive doctrines: that the self doesn’t exist, and that much of perceived reality is in some sense illusory. Do these claims, radical as they sound, make a certain kind of sense in light of modern psychology? And what are the implications of all this for how we should live our lives? Can meditation make us not just happier, but better people? All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion....

Top reviews

Oct 25, 2020

I thought this was a great introduction to both modern Buddhist thought and evolutionary psychology. Professor Wright is an excellent lecturer, and his office hours are informative as well as amusing.

Mar 2, 2016

Engaging content and excellent pace. While the level is introductory (I'd have liked a bit more depth), I would expect this from a lower-division/breadth course—and even more so from a MOOC like this.

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926 - 950 of 1,665 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Mari C

Jul 30, 2020

I learned so much and had such a wonderful time exploring this subject!

By Tanny C

Jun 29, 2020

Thoroughly enjoyed the course by Professor Wright, am going to miss it!

By Rafał P

Sep 5, 2018

Great intro to Buddhism from secular point of view. Highly recommended.

By Romeo S

Aug 11, 2017

Getting more and more interesting as you advance through the modules...

By Koganti S

Sep 16, 2020


By bulat l

May 18, 2020

Great course! Good intro into buddhism and modern psychology theories.

By Genise W

Jan 11, 2017

Wonderful course where you can really and honestly evaluate yourself !

By Olivia F

Nov 13, 2016

Outstanding perspectives, excellent insights and an awesome professor.


Jul 25, 2020

I highly recommend it, it was an amazing and life changing experience

By Naruto U

Nov 5, 2019

It is a great course it opens many windows of the brain. Do watch it.

By Penny M G

Oct 27, 2019

Excellent course, very well taught and with very stimulating content.

By Susan F

May 13, 2016

This is a great course, gives me a brand new perspective of Buddhism!

By Declan O

Nov 21, 2015

Superb. Very interesting and informative. Really enjoyed this course.

By Sushant S K

Sep 25, 2020

Learned lot many things about meaning of life. Great course. Thanks.

By Niharika S

Sep 21, 2020

A very interesting course! very insightful! Absolutely loved it! :))

By Ines N R A

Apr 29, 2020

Amazing course! Top of the class professor and interviewers.


By Yasmine S

Nov 28, 2017

Brilliant Prof, brilliant topics of discussion, never a dull moment.

By Donald G

Oct 18, 2017

I have ascended into pure energy because of Professor Robert Wright.

By Alan B

Jun 7, 2017

this course provides a lot of helpfull information i totally love it

By Erik T

Mar 3, 2017

A wonderful course! I learned so much about Buddhism and meditation.

By Stepanov D S

Oct 6, 2016

Thank you for such interesting course. Waiting for the next lectures

By Savkin E

Jun 30, 2016

Rather interesting course. And I think Robert Write is cool narrator

By Andrea C

Aug 16, 2019

Incredibly engaging and wonderfully interesting. A course for life.

By Jani D

Mar 26, 2018

Perfect , thank you so much for the interesting lectures and course

By Cece Y

Apr 24, 2017

Really pleased to click in the fantastic course! Worth your time!!!