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Dartmouth College

Question Reality! Science, philosophy, and the search for meaning

Dartmouth College via edX


Clique aqui​ para a versão em português.

How much can we know of the physical world? Can we know everything? Or are there fundamental limits to how much we can explain? If there are limits, to what extent can we explain the nature of physical reality? RealityX investigates the limits of knowledge and what we can and cannot know of the world and ourselves.

We will trace the evolution of ideas about the nature of reality in philosophy and the natural sciences through the ages. Starting with the philosophers of Ancient Greece and ending with cutting edge theories about the universe, quantum physics, and the nature of consciousness.

Learners who complete this course will be able to:

A. Communicate with others about the latest scientific discoveries in various disciplines including cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics, machine intelligence and cognitive science.

B. Identify key points in history where scientific advances changed humanity’s philosophy and understanding of the nature of reality and our place in the Universe.

C. Reflect on and examine their own worldview and identify if any changes occurred during this course.

D. Confidently argue about scientific evidence, philosophical viewpoints, and others’ interpretations of both.

E. Demonstrate how the scientific method works, its limitations, and how scientists use it to construct knowledge about physical reality.

Join world-renowned physicist and author Marcelo Gleiser and leading experts as we explore how philosophers and physicists from Plato to Einstein and many others have attempted to explain the nature of the world and of reality.

This course will be offered in both English and Portuguese. Videos will have subtitles,discussions will be supported in both languages, as will all assignments.

This course is a project of the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth (ICE), dedicated to transforming the dialogue between the sciences and the humanities in academia and in the public sphere in order to explore fundamental questions where a cross-disciplinary exchange is essential.

Taught by

Marcelo Gleiser, Adrienne Gauthier, Michael Goudzwaard, Jay Beaudoin, Lora Leligdon and Sawyer Broadley


4.3 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous
    What a wonderful Class! This course challenges your world view and opens your mind up to the possibilities of the universe. Marcel does an awesome job of taking you through the history of physics and the understandings of reality in a meaningful and interesting way while keeping the pace simple enough for the layman. Not being a physicist, I was initially intimidated but quickly found the course was meant to make you think. I loved taking this class, but I will say- some nights it left my mind reeling for hours about the possibilities of our reality! Thanks for a great course!
  • Cristina Cotofana
  • Victoria-Elizabeth

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