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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


This philosophy course has two goals. The first goal is to introduce you to the things that philosophers think about. We will look at some perennial philosophical problems:

  • Is there a God?
  • What is knowledge, and how do we get it?
  • What is the place of our consciousness in the physical world?
  • Do we have free will?
  • How do we persist over time, as our bodily and psychological traits change?

The second goal is to get you thinking philosophically yourself. This will help you develop your critical reasoning and argumentative skills more generally. Along the way we will draw from late, great classical authors and influential contemporary figures.

To help enhance your learning experience, this course offers instructor grading. If you choose to pursue a verified certificate, a professional philosopher will carefully read, grade and comment upon your work. Though all residential philosophy courses at MIT, and other major universities, offer instructor grading, this is an innovation in the world of MOOCs. Students will test their ideas against, and receive individual advice from, professional philosophers. We believe that this is the best way to learn philosophy.

Verified learners will be eligible for the MITx Philosophy Award and (for students presently in high school) the MITx High School Philosophy Award. The awards will be given for outstanding written work by the MIT Philosophy Department. In addition, award winners will be profiled on the MIT Philosophy website. Please see the FAQ section below for the link to more information on the MITx Philosophy Award.

NOTE: Enrollment for instructor grading will be capped.

Taught by

Caspar Hare


5.0 rating, based on 10 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    24.00x was a great course and a great opportunity from MITx to learn philosophy. Everything about the course was excellent: the learning materials, the discussions forums and great teachers. The course focused on some of the most important questions in philosophy and helped the students gain a clear and refined understanding of these much thought about philosophical issues through critical thinking and arguments. I will go on taking Philosophy classes in the future and am waiting eagerly for the next iteration of this course too. Highly recommended.

    - Neha Agarwal.
  • Diego Riccardi completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Great Introduction by Prof. Hare to some of the most important and controversial topics of contemporary philosophy and non.
    I think all the people, not only philosophy students, should enroll in this course. It will change the way you see at many things and will make you more aware of the problem of knowledge, of how (and how much) we can know things.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Well the name of the website says it all...

    Definitely a TOP class to take!!! I enjoyed the whole experience with lots of support from the Staff; Ryan, Damien and Kevin and brilliant vids from Prof. Hare.

    The forums were alive with everyone's thoughts and we all had a chance to respectfully put our ideas across.

    Don't miss out on this great experience!!!

    Thanks again to you all..

    Valli Henry-Boldini
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It was the first philosophy course I completed in my life. Enthusiastic Prof. who explained controversial topics really really well, and was involved into discussions on forums. Learned a lot, thought even more ;) Thank you, thank you, thank you for this experience
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    24.00x is one of the best courses I've taken. Well organized, material is delivered well, and lots of help from the staff. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the forum discussions. This course helps to become a better thinker and speak with confidence.
  • grace_4r

    grace_4r completed this course.

    Excellent philosophy class! Excellent teaching and interesting discussions. Thank you Professor Hare and EDX. Highly recommend!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

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  • Gelant Sanjaya

    Gelant Sanjaya completed this course.

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