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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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901 - 925 of 1,666 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Quint B

May 25, 2020

Marvellous. Really liked Robert Wright. Really liked the ideas we dicovered.

By Aniruddha A

Apr 25, 2020

Good, detailed course to understand and merge modern psychology and Buddhism

By Ксения К

Oct 3, 2019

This course changed all my life and how I was looking at the world around me

By Kannan K

Jun 22, 2016

A very important subject that every person should learn sometime in his life

By Liza B

Jan 5, 2016

Really interesting explanation of Buddhism through psychology and evolution.

By Amanda B

Mar 23, 2020

Really loved this course - so interesting and well put together. THANK YOU!

By Erik L

Feb 9, 2019

Outstanding. Life changing information condensed into a few short lectures.

By Rubin M

Jan 22, 2019

Very good information. I enjoyed the class a lot and learned a lot as well.

By Mateusz Z B

Jan 22, 2018

I liked it a lot. And helps me every day with my work as a psychotherapist.

By Antonio E D

Dec 14, 2016

Recommended, ver interesting and professor Wright and his dogs are awesome!

By Eliett A

Oct 14, 2016

Amazing!!! so much to learn! super interesting... I'm so glad I found this.

By Etienne P

Sep 4, 2016

I am enjoying the thorough ,interesting way the Course is presented.


By Holly W

May 12, 2016

This lesson has cleared many of my confusions about life and true hapiness.

By Lorilee

Jan 29, 2016

Very exciting!I have learned a lot in Buddhism and Evolutionary Psychology!

By Harshita M

Aug 1, 2020

I had a very nice experience while learning various things in this course.

By Caroline F

Jul 26, 2020

Great teacher and class! He is funny and very well informed of the subject

By P M

Jun 18, 2020

Extremely beneficial course to supplement with meditation and mindfulness!

By Rocio A A R

Jun 3, 2020

I have enjoyed and learned a lot with this course. Well done Robert Wright

By Tami

Nov 7, 2015

A thoughtful and well organized course that is, in itself, "enlightening."

By Karine B

Sep 28, 2015

Very interesting,

The teacher is very clear and it s nice to lesson to him.


Oct 5, 2020

From the course, I found an importance of meditation in Human well being.


Jul 7, 2020

Would give it 10 stars if I could. Very nice. Loved it all and thank you.

By Charlise A v D

Mar 20, 2016

Kept me interested in the course, the content and lecturer were excellent

By Bhuvan l

May 3, 2020


By Holly B K

Nov 20, 2016

An interesting, open minded, and provocative course. Highly recommended!