Free Online Course on Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is offering free online course on Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness. This course will help you develop your critical reasoning and argumentative skills more generally.

In this fourteen week course, you will learn how to ask and answer big questions. Pursue a verified certificate to have your work graded and commented upon by professional philosophers. This course will start on June 20, 2017.

Course At A Glance 

Length: 12 weeks
Effort: 5 hours pw
Subject: Philosophy & Ethics
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $250
Session: Course Starts on June 20, 2017

Providers’ Details

Massachusetts Institute of Technology — a coeducational, privately endowed research university founded in 1861 — is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

About This Course

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?

Why Take This Course?

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.

Learning Outcomes

  • How to construct and analyze philosophical arguments
  • How to write clearly and communicate complicated ideas effectively
  • Arguments for and against the existence of God
  • The distinction between epistemic and practical rationality
  • Theories of Knowledge
  • Physicalist and Non-Physicalist theories of consciousness
  • Free Will and Determinism
  • Personal Identity


Caspar Hare

Caspar Hare has taught philosophy at MIT for ten years. He has written numerous articles on ethics, metaphysics and practical rationality, and two books.

Ryan Doody

Ryan Doody is a PhD in Philosophy & Linguistics at MIT. He has a degree in Mathematics and a degree in Philosophy from SUNY Brockport.



How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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