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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Thought Experiments: An introduction to philosophy by Erasmus University Rotterdam

About the Course

Doing philosophy is like seeing a movie and wondering what will happen next, or what you would do in the same situation, or what’s real and what’s merely make-believe. You’re probably not aware of it, but since you already know how to see movies and use your imagination, you’re well on your way to becoming a good philosopher. The only thing you still need and want to develop though, is the ability to use your imagination in the philosophical way, and that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this MOOC. Firstly, you’ll learn how to use your imagination to put definitions, analyses or conceptions of philosophically relevant notions to the test by means of imaginary examples and counterexamples, addressing questions that have been part and parcel of Western philosophy since its very inception, such as - ‘what is knowledge?’; - ‘what is the mind?’; - ’what is moral responsibility?’; and - ‘what is justice?’. Subsequently, you’ll learn how to use your imagination to develop your worldview. You’ll learn to speculate about what might explain your experiences, ranging from the commonsense explanation in terms of a mind-independent world, to sceptical alternatives, such as that you’re systematically misled by an evil demon or that only your mind exists and that it confabulates all the rest. Finally, since philosophy is not only about interpreting the world, but also about changing it -and hopefully, for the better- you’ll also learn how to use your imagination to evaluate what the right thing to do is in a given situation, what the criteria are to evaluate actions, and whether such criteria are established evermore or remain an open question....
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1 - 3 of 3 Reviews for Thought Experiments: An introduction to philosophy

By T. W t

Dec 19, 2021

Excellent short course at the introductory level. De Mey is a good instructor and presents interesting lectures. I was not thrilled by his idea of using movies-film, if you will- to illustrate philosophical concepts; there are plenty of real life examples, but that is his choice. I suggest taking all quizzes and doing the final assignment. Overall very worthwhile.

By Jim B

Nov 22, 2022

The course content described in the syllabus was just what I was looking for and, for the most part, it was delivered as described and was enlightening. However, Dr. DeMay is an enjoyable lecturer. However, his strong accent was, to my American English ears, difficult to follow. I was better able to follow when using the transcripts to read along with the video lectures. However, since the transcripts apparently are created using voice recognition software, there are quite a few errors in the sentence structure, words, capitalization, and punctuation. Trying to refer back to the transcripts for study without the videos was quite difficult when scanning for specific terms and ideas. The transcripts need considerable review and editing. For me, it was distracting and frustratingly difficult to comprehend the ideas being presented. I abandoned the course half way through. So this review applies only to the first four modules (weeks). Best of luck to anyone who attempts this course.

By Annette V

Mar 8, 2022

I have taken several courses through Coursera, and this is the only one I regret. It was difficult the understand, did not seem to address PHILOSOPHICAL thought experiments, unless you count experiments in format logic. I would not recommend this course to anyone.