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

5,134 ratings
1,729 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

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.

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.

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976 - 1000 of 1,699 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Charleston W

Nov 28, 2016

Informative, realistic, down to earth. Greatly enjoyed this course.

By Rochelle H

Mar 11, 2016

This case is so thoughtful and informative. Really makes you think.

By Zeel C

Sep 18, 2020

Awesome content with mind-blowing views about our moral behaviour.

By Vesna B

Aug 13, 2020

Really great course with a great lecturer. Would highly recommend.

By Adrian C

Jun 22, 2020

A wonderful course where you could find another philosophy to live

By Жоламан К

Jun 12, 2020

Да, очень содержательный курс. Спасибо организаторам данног курса!

By Janine L

Jan 10, 2016

I really enjoyed the course. The professor was very down to earth.

By Asmita A

Jun 9, 2020

Excellent course with good content covered in the video lectures.

By Ashley R

May 8, 2020

I love everything about this class! The teacher is so awesome! =)

By Hilary M

Mar 22, 2020

It was a wonderful exploration of where science and Buddhism meet

By Adam K

Dec 6, 2017

Very interesting analysis of the benefits of meditative practice.

By Antoine B

Jun 26, 2017

I really liked it, very interesting and no special prerequisites.


Jun 13, 2017

Great content. It keeps me interested all the time. Great course!

By Larry W

Dec 31, 2015

Content and lectures are awesome. Wright is a brilliant teacher.

By Vasco M H

Oct 22, 2015

The professor it's just excellent, what a character, must enroll.

By Jaime G M C

May 15, 2020

Beautiful course, very well worked and explained by Prof. wright

By Niraj A

May 11, 2020

An excellent course with exciting insights and food for thought!

By Champika K

Jun 12, 2019

I am finally finding a way to understand what the Buddha taught.

By Kristen H

Apr 25, 2016

Really enjoyed this course! It inspired me to think in new ways.

By imtiaz c

Feb 8, 2016

This was probably the most enlightening class I have ever taken.

By Christoph S

Apr 30, 2020

Great course, excellent (fun!) tutor and assignment objectives.

By Rafael G M K

Apr 29, 2020

Excellent course. Lots of insights and rich scientific content.

By Ramil U

Sep 12, 2018

It's an amazing course on Buddhism and Evolutionary Psychology!

By Jovanoska N

Nov 10, 2017

Amazing course and superb professor! Can't recommend it enough!

By Samuel J R

May 17, 2017

was fun and excellent to learn more about the faith I follow :D