Philosophy

Free online courses

Study philosophy with us on Coursera

Find out about our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), access course videos and download handouts.

What was the problem?

Questions about the nature of morality, truth, and science are of huge importance to people across the world. 

However, Philosophy, as a subject plays a limited role in mainstream UK education and Philosophy’s absence from school curricula, means that the many people lack the opportunity to engage with these questions in a critical manner.

What did we do?

Research spanning the Philosophy department led to the creation of 2 internationally renowned MOOCs‘Introduction to Philosophy’ (IP) and ‘Philosophy and the Sciences’ (PS). 

The Edinburgh research underpinning each MOOC topic is highlighted in '@Edinburgh’ summaries, which provide a lay description of the key research findings, relevant publications, and hyperlinks to open-access research. 

IP is the largest ever philosophy MOOC and together with PS reached >500,000 individuals from 200+ countries. 

The 50 Most Popular MOOCs of all time | Online Course Report

IP and PS have influenced classroom teaching in Edinburgh and beyond, informing the practice of teachers in prisons, community groups, schools, and universities.

 I took the course because I am a […] Philosophy teacher in high school and I wanted to improve as an individual […] everything about the course was just perfect.

The Edinburgh MOOCs increase access to philosophical research, placing research conducted at Edinburgh in a wider context, and allows learners across the globe to interact with Edinburgh Philosophy staff, regardless of academic background.

Introduction to Philosophy

The School of Athens by Raphael
An overview of some of the main topics in Philosophy

Philosophy and the Sciences

Philosophy and the Sciences
Examining Philosophy's relationship with the Physical and Cognitive Sciences

Intellectual Humility

Intellectual Humility image
Study an evolving field of enquiry with a variety of guest lecturers

Philosophy, Science and Religion

Explore contemporary debates at the intersection of Philosophy, Science and Religion

Know Thyself - The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge

Know Thyself MOOC image
Study aspects of self-knowledge, theories of human nature and central dimensions of the self