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Back to Know Thyself - The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge: The Examined Life

Know Thyself - The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge: The Examined Life, The University of Edinburgh

4.5
80 ratings
29 reviews

About this Course

According to legend, inscribed on walls of the temple on the sacred site of Delphi in Ancient Greece were two premier injunctions: NOTHING IN EXCESS, and KNOW THYSELF. This course will be an examination of the latter injunction in an effort to discover what self-knowledge is, why it might be valuable, and what, if any, limitations it might face. What is missing from a person lacking in self-knowledge that makes her less wise, virtuous, or competent in certain areas than others who have this capacity, and what if anything might she do to fill that gap? Historical sources as well as recent research in philosophy, experimental social psychology, and neuroscience will inform our investigation, in the course of which we will become students of our own dreams, and cultivate some meditative practices. Learning Outcomes: Learners will gain familiarity with prominent themes from Western, classical Chinese, and Buddhist approaches to our knowledge of ourselves. In the course of doing so, they will gain an appreciation of the relation of self-knowledge to wisdom, of the value of intellectual humility, as well as of methods of learning about oneself that do not depend on introspection. Learners will also become familiar with contemporary research in experimental social psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience into the emotions, the unconscious, the role of affect in decision making, and self-deception. They will also gain an appreciation of a challenge to the assumption of a coherent, unified self that derives from the Buddhist tradition. --- This course was created by a partnership between The University of Edinburgh and Humility & Conviction and Public Life Project, an engaged research project based at the University of Connecticut and funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation....

Top reviews

By TG

Sep 03, 2018

I learned a lot about what self-knowledge and how it can enhance my life. The lectures and forum discussions were very thought-provoking. The meditative moments were an added bonus!

By RR

Sep 07, 2018

this course was super well explained, lovely to watch, and very easy to absorb and apply to self through the introspection questions.

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29 Reviews

By dan h

Feb 10, 2019

Good content just a technical issue some of the modules repeat themselves even though they have different names.

By Kathleen Rutkowski

Jan 15, 2019

Fascinating subject. Course was well-designed, good lectures and interesting readings. Highly recommend.

By Kasia

Jan 02, 2019

What I really liked was the fact that the professor/ assistant have answered personally the questions of the users. Nevertheless, I give only three stars because the content of the course has not been so interesting as I hoped for and it was focusing on the thoughts of only four philosophers. This is the course that I have the least material from. Thank you anyway!

By Jordan Whyatt

Dec 06, 2018

The course was well laid out, well explained, the videos and animations helped visually and the added extras such as questioning events in your own life and the meditative moment really made for an engaging learning experience.

By Eldrick James F. Onal

Oct 12, 2018

Phenomenal! It allowed me to peer closer to views which I now considered to be misconstrued.

By Adrian Paul T. Latoza

Oct 07, 2018

I've Learned a lot about this course. i learned that how should i put importance to myself that knowing some limitation and giving importance in what talents and abilities that i have. knowing myself is show to me that how am i special on this world that i stand. so that I concluded this course, we should love ourselves and accept who really we are.

By Wasi A. Rizvi

Sep 28, 2018

Module 4 felt a bit dry but the first three were interesting.

By

Sep 27, 2018

Enjoyed the lectures very much. Found it to be thought provoking and informative.

By Joseph Gannon

Sep 08, 2018

Very well-done online course packed with knowledge. This was my favorite Coursera course thus far!

By Russell Holton

Sep 08, 2018

An exceptionally well made course. I'm a philosophy undergrad and this course was useful in that it added little nuggets of information to my overall understanding of Socrates/Plato, Descartes and Ryle's philosophy. Particularly Ryle. I would recommend this course to undergrads and people just looking for a general understanding of philosophical argumentation and the kinds of ideas your likely to encounter when studying philosophy at a higher level. Cheers Mitch.

P.s I also took your online MOOC when you were at University of Virginia a couple of years ago. That was the best MOOC I've ever done. I loved the informal settings and the way you presented the material. Keep up the good work Prof, it's very much appreciated.