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.
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.
by Héctor O•
During lessons you don`t receive enough information to be able to pass the exams
by Alex S•
I feel so lucky to be living in an age that learning like this is available for free.
I thought that the course was great, the topics were interesting and all the lecturers did a good job (especially as this isn't how they normally teach, so a lot of this must have been new to them too).
There are only two things I'd improve if this was possible- and neither of them should detract from my rating but I hope it will be useful for the course organisers.
The first is that sometimes I felt that the quizzes weren't that related to what the lecturer had been telling us- some of the questions seemed to discuss slightly different concepts to what had been taught. I don't think this is a major problem and most things could be worked out, but I think the correlation between the lessons and the quizzes should be reviewed.
The second is that I think the lecturers should consider, if they update the course, that many of the people who take it will not have English as a first language. Although all the lecturers spoke well, one spoke a bit too fast in my view and another had an accent that made it hard for me to understand all of the concepts they were introducing, especially the concepts that were new to me. As I am a native speaker, if it is hard for me it might be hard for some other people too- and some of the discussion comments etc bear this out.
Overall however, I just wanted to recommend the course and to thank everyone involved. It was a dream of mine to one day do a philosophy course like this, so I feel I've been given a real gift.
by Kevin R•
I decided to take this course because I've been interested in philosophy for a long time, yet studied computing and online and distance education academically. Meanwhile, I've read a lot of books on philosophy, theology and psychology over the years and always thought these would be subjects I'd study in my retirement years. So, when this current pandemic came to disrupt my usual schedule, I began by reading some books that I thought would keep me mentally active throughout this period of time. But then, I thought, wow; I've actually got the perfect opportunity to do a MOOC on some of these subjects and gain a verifiable certificate. Excellent.
You don't need to have studied Philosophy at all before doing this course; it's very well presented and I've found it very clear and easy to follow. It's given me a sense of achieving something whilst I've not been able to go to work, so that has also made it absolutely worthwhile doing. I'm now feeling like I can actually fit in a more courses throughout the remaining time I have on this planet. Thank you to everyone who put this course together, I've loved it.
by Hui J H•
When I enrolled for this course, I was really just looking for a definition for the word 'philosophy'. Boy did I get more than what I bargained for!
Instead of going down the usual historical path and looking at the philosophers in just chronological order, the lecturers at the University of Edinburgh have divided the topic into broad strokes, covering the big ideas (and their related writers) that have driven philosophical debate till today. They made sure every topic linked up, so we could understand materialism as the opposite of dualism, rather than in isolation from other avenues of thought. If I want to, I could definitely take my studies in philosophy much further, knowing now where to look!
My only minor gripe would be the strong focus on Western philosophers and little mention of other cultural views, however, it would be unrealistic to ask for short online lectures to cover all of human thought endeavours. Hopefully other courses exist so all students can take a global approach to philosophy!
by Mindy H•
The content in this course was nice and well thought out, though I would recommend a general knowledge of history and philosophy in order to fully engage in the course (ie being able to place the questions in the relevant time and consider the implications and possible factors that contributed to the ideas made the content much more intelligible) The course covers some intriguing topics like time travel and free will and I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to refresh their memory and have pleasant mornings with food for thought. This course has a balanced workload, and I never found the combination of lecture, tests, and quizzes overbearing, since I took this course as entertainment in lieu of a book maybe. Fits the description, though it is not a good introduction to Philosophy since it covers a plethora of concepts and contains convoluted academic lingo and loaded terms. TLDR: Not a good introduction to philosophy, but it is nice for refreshing memory.
by Constantino C•
I joined this Introduction because my wife recommended it after the experience she had several years ago. Well, I started and got strongly committed. The videos, reading materials, quizzes, optional reading, and internet support were great. It was challenging my feeling of arriving to an Introduction which offered a very rich field of sources and thoughts.
I managed to get the text "Philosophy for everyone" and it became important reference material for the course. Perhaps the main difficulty that I had was going into the Forum and trying to contribute or to present ideas. At the same time, it was great to grasp the multi-diversity of people interacting.
I have a project which I would like to develop. How could I share it with Coursera, in order to get your advice to implement it? Thanks a lot to Coursera and to the University of Edinburgh for this Introduction that I will continue to develop.
by Steffen J•
I liked everything in this course. It is from my Kantianism point of personal view the very best at present. Especially the sections about time travel offering a professional collection of perspective made clear the university level philosophy is still guiding to proven and accepted and in most cases verified standpoints. There is a range or region of variation that can be used to logical falsification and other types of accepted processes. I approved my English and deepened and cleared many of my positions in philosophy. Thank You very much for the fruitful guidance. I have thanks to the course structure plenty of reasons to deepen my structure and dispute competences to make a strengthening of my philosophical professions and confessions. I am the opinion that Philosophy has still great potential and should be taught and studies to and from many more people.
by Lesley H•
The course is both interesting and well-presented. The handouts given by some lecturers are useful for revising the concepts introduced. The lecturers are all good at presenting their material although some use visual aids such as on-screen summaries better than others. The in-lesson quizzes (where used) are useful to point up areas of uncertainty and the practice quizzes and review assignments are well-written and thought-provoking. I like that the answers are explained, rather than just indicating which answer was correct. The choice of modules was very good and I felt that my choices linked together coherently, to give me a good overview of and introduction to key philosophical concepts. As an Edinburgh graduate, I knew that I could trust the quality of the course and I have no hesitation in awarding it five stars.
by Michael S•
Succinct introduction to a number of key subjects in philosophy. Good range of topics, from fundamental issues (knowledge, morality, dualism versus monism, free will, nature of science etc) to the more speculative (time travel). Nice segues into opinions of leading philosophers (e.g., Kant, Hume) without drowning in their works. Plenty of modern day references. Huge amount of followup material for the so inclined. Speakers uniformly good and clear. Some of the multiple choice questions in the quizzes seemed to contain ambiguities which was a bit frustrating (I ended up answering what they wanted, not what I believed to be correct, which is not a good sign). Also, a few review questionnaires did not fully cover the material presented. Overall, however, an excellent 'first course' in philosophy.
by Michelle E•
I spent an average of 2-3 hours on this course each week, enthralled by the lecturers and the fascinating topics to think about that were presented. Lectures were coherent and well-done, from my opinion. It was relatively easy if you paid attention and took your notes, but the opportunities to expand your mind were what made this course so fun! I loved Intro to Philo. A note to anyone considering taking it: They recommend participating in the discussions in the forums, and I do too. It makes it so much more fun and engaging! I regret not participating (actually responding) more, and the people in my life are a bit sick of hearing me talk about what I've been philosophizing about. So make sure you have enough time to peruse and engage in the forums on top of your coursework!
It's a great introductory course to the seemingly difficult subject philosophy. After finishing this course, I find that philosophy is indeed a quite interesting and useful subject that relates with everyday life. People who have not studied philosophy yet are actually using them everyday; some of the topics philosophy regards are quite relative to our daily life, at least it is the case for me. I think it might be better if this course can have a better category of the topics taught in it, because sometimes I am confused with what this topic is actually a philosophical subject. If I can see clearly where this specific topic is in the huge subject philosophy, it would definitely benefit me a lot for my future study and research!
by Simon S S•
Excellent introduction to an incredibly broad field. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in, or vaguely familiar with philosophy. I would also recommend this course to people wanting to brush up on a few things, as it goes over matters at a reasonable pace and thus allows one to get into the themes. Lastly, I would like to say that it's great to see such a new topic (relative to most of the classical philosophical themes) as Testimony in an introduction course. It arguably belongs in the (somewhat) new sub field of Social Epistemology and new research in this area allows philosophers to see original contributions from Reid, Hume and others in a new and modern light.
by Yasmin A H A•
I've enjoyed this course greatly, and look forward to delve further into philosophy. I loved all of the talks by all the lecturers, and found their follow-up videos to be particularly helpful. Unfortunately, that also meant that there was no forum to access and discuss the questions posed by the lectures with other people taking the course, which I believe would have helped to hone my argumentative skills, which I believe is necessary to have (and further develop and enhance), when learning about philosophy.
Thank you very much for this amazing course. If you could introduce more philosophy courses (particularly ones that are more advanced and in depth), that would be great!
by Tarang B•
It is an enriching experience. This was my first ever attempt in understanding certain nuances of philosophy. The course got my mind blown as it changed my way of looking at things. Before taking this course, I had assumed certain things to be too obvious to be true. The array of examples and schools of different thoughts assimilated in the videos have made the whole learning experience more edifying. I don't know how much of this knowledge will I be able to retain. Initially, I had doubts over taking this course as I had no clue of what it will unfold but turns out that it was a correct decision. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone behind this course.
by Wiktor S•
If you are going to study philosophy online , do google" Coursera " platform and pick up "Introduction to philosophy " course .As a senior teacher of humanistic subjects at one of the best lycees in Poland I have to express my gratitude and thanks to the lecturers and workers of University of Edinburgh for their thorough expertise , the high level of professionalism and total dedication. Studying at University of Edinburgh has been a delightful experience.I do hope I will continue to pick up postgraduate studies over there. So please , do not hesitate to pursue your education with the fantastic team of excellent philosophers inEdinburgh.
by Ed H•
Es un curso que pone retos para explicar el como suceden las cosas, para comprender que de alguna forma estamos predeterminados en algunas acciones y circunstancias y que, si tenemos libre alvedrio o si somos los que elegimos de acuerdo a nuestras condiciones personales, podemos ser o no moralmente responsables de nuestras acciones.
Gracias a los brillantes expositores -filósofos de alto nivel- que en la argumentación de sus clases, despiertan en uno como participante de este curso, la inquietud de seguir profundizando en la búsqueda de la verdad a través del estudio de la Filosofía
Mil felicitaciones y un millon de gracias....!
by Barbara M•
I have really enjoyed this course and it has motivated me to learn more. I particularly liked the course as it showed us philosophy itself rather than a reiterated history of philosophy which is usual. It gave us hands on experience of problems and questions being asked.
The accompanying book has also been of great value to me. It enabled me to read the lectures before listening to them and will be a useful handbook to keep me in touch with the issues covered. The questions and further reading at the end of each chapter is also of great value to me.
A big thank you to all the team. I have been totally absorbed by the course.
by Matthew S•
I found this course immensely mentally stimulating, and tailored well to those of us who are new to philosophy. I found the weeks that covered the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of time-travel to be particularly engaging and mind-expanding for me. I feel like this course has really opened the door to help me further explore in more depth the philosophical ideas that it provided me a guided introduction to. I would love to see other, more specialized philosophy courses offered on Coursera that cover the topics discussed in week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6 and week 7 individually in more depth in separate courses!
This course provides a good and solid foundation for understanding what philosophy is, how it works, why we should philosophise, and, some of the major questions that philosophy continues to analyse today.
My main interests in philosophy would be: the philosophy of Science and the philosophy of Religion. I'd like to learn why we believe what we believe.
I'd recommend this course to anyone that seeks to understand what is philosophy and how we do philosophy.
Thanks to The University of Edinburgh, to Coursera, the professors, and all those who made this course available free of charge.
by Kyel B•
Very factual, and intriguing course stuffed with information! I really learned a lot from this course, and will definitely be going through it again to really grasp the info because it is dense. From how it started, to real philosophical questions, it gets you thinking. I paid for the course to get the certificate for my work resume, and it really did pay off. I'm glad I took a leap of faith with coursera and decided to try out their courses. I'm enrolled in at least 4 others, and I can't wait to learn more. Definitely take this course with a notebook so you get all you can out of it.
by Irving M G•
ME PARECIÓ EXTRAORDINARIO EL MODO DE ENSEÑAR DE ESTE CURSO. SUS PROFESORES EXCELENTES. ALGUNAS PREGUNTAS DE LOS EXAMENES DEBERÍAN EXPRESAR MEJOR QUE PUEDEN SER VARIAS OPCIONES EN VEZ DE SOLO UNA OPCIÓN, NO SIEMPRE PUDE ADVERTIRLO, ASUMO QUE QUIZÁ ME FALTA EXPERIENCIA EN ESTE MODELO SISTEMA EDUCATIVO A DISTANCIA.
INTENTARÉ PROBAR ALGO PARECIDO CON MIS ALUMNOS DE LA UNIVERSIDAD MONTEAVILA (CARACAS, VENEZUELA), EN LA MATERIA DE ETICA PARA ABOGADOS, YA QUE NO ES POSIBLE POR AHORA DAR CLASES PRESENCIALES. SIN LUGAR A DUDAS QUE TOMARÍA OTRO CURSO CON USTEDES. LO RECOMIENDO AMPLIAMENTE
by Maya S•
I took this course purely out of self-interest, because as a college student pursuing an engineering degree, my subjects tend to be more technical oriented, and a tab bit dry. This entire course, from start to finish, was nothing short of amazing. Each teacher taught their material with vigorous passion, and the topics covered were both interesting and educative. They were thoroughly explained but easy to understand, and overall, I would, with complete and utter certainty, do a course by this University again in a heartbeat. Thank you to all the teachers, for being so passionate.
by Rhitansu G•
I really needed answers to some questions about life about equality, justice, empathy, morality, etc. After finishing this course I still do not have the answers, but I feel I am in a better position to read and think more about these questions. These questions are not just for academic interest. I feel it is difficult to along in life without some answers about these fundamental aspects of our day to day life. Philosophy should be a part of our school curriculum. I really appreciate the way it has been taught in this course and the dedication of the teachers to their subject.
by Leyla G•
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this course. The modules covered a multitude of diverse branches of philosophy which helped me to broaden my knowledge of the subject overall and the lecturers were incredibly helpful in explaining simply, and with useful examples, new information. The course has further deepened my love for the subject and the platforms of assessment were challenging, but did not feel labourly. I would without a doubt recommend anybody, regardless of former experience of the subject, to partake in this course and I am highly glad to have had the experience.
by Surya N D•
I am a novice to philosophy and concepts of it but I was always intrigued by philosophy although I viewed it as something abstract, undefinable in definite terms unlike science and engineering that years of education and experience ingrained in me. This course has cleared many of my misgivings and gave a solid foundation of introduction to philosophy and has piqued my interest to pursue this further, now more as a subject of interest than a curious hobby. Thanks to the exceptional videos put together by a gifted faculty. Kudos to Coursera and the University of Edinburgh.