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

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Know Thyself - The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge: The Examined Life by The University of Edinburgh

4.5
109 ratings
38 reviews

About the 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

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!

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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1 - 25 of 38 Reviews for Know Thyself - The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge: The Examined Life

By Jordan W

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 Karen P

Jun 03, 2019

Very interesting course. Engaging and well structured.

By PC

May 06, 2019

An excellent course encompassing theory, story, learning and tools from many historical and contemporary sources. Really well explained, flowing smoothly and yet provocative in helping you think about the topics yourself. The meditative videos are very useful too. Worthy of 5 stars.

By Prashant S S

May 03, 2019

Very nice and informative course

By Vincent T

Apr 16, 2019

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By Regina V R

Apr 10, 2019

Great content, really enjoyed taking this course. The lectures are really good and the adicional material is very helpful. Also, I enjoyed a lot the meditative moments. However, the video "theory of human emotions" in week 4 is missing (instead there's the video for part 5 two times!)

By louis f d m p s

Mar 17, 2019

Very interesting, I think it is a great start to the knowledge of thyself this background.

By Ritesh K

Mar 12, 2019

Wonderful course..! though yet to know more to know Thyself..!!!!

By Lynn-Marie H

Feb 19, 2019

Really interesting and well presented course. Even if there is only time available to take the basic level there are materials available to engage and go further into the subject as laid out. I didn't have that time but still explored. It filled in gaps for me and made me think. The tutor is very easy to listen to and if I do the next course I'll look at his book too.

By Daniel S

Feb 19, 2019

Tests were pretty easy, did not challenge much. Not that that´s bad, its just a thing.

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 R

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 Eldrick J F O

Oct 12, 2018

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

By Adrian P T L

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 R

Sep 28, 2018

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

By Kali

Sep 27, 2018

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

By Joseph G

Sep 08, 2018

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

By Russell H

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.

By rebecca r

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.

By Thoria B F

Sep 07, 2018

ممتازة

By Kat

Sep 07, 2018

Hello Mitch,

Thank you very much for the course; I really enjoyed it.

If there was one thing I would change, it might be the way the optional final assessment was run. When people started worrying about peer reviews, I thought it was a considerate gesture that you moved the assessment to a forum to put everyone's mind at rest. However, after that, my impression was that something may have gone wrong somewhere: as I had already submitted my essay before all this and was receiving peer reviews, I then decided to peer review some other students' essays too (despite the move to the forum). The essays I was finding were all very short. It may have been that the software cut them off for some reason - or maybe people were confused about where they were submitting, and thought they were posting a forum entry (for which the length would have been appropriate).

I would love to come back for parts 2 and 3. If I don't, it will only be because by the time they are live, my "real" programme will have started and I may not have time for both. If I do have time for both, I will definitely be back.

Thank you very much again and best wishes

Kat

By Neringa B

Sep 07, 2018

I have gained some useful insights thanks to the course material thus I recommend this course to those students who have already realised that there is a connection between their positive belief system and the negative events that unfold in their social/personal life.

By María d l L A G P

Sep 06, 2018

This course have been very beneficial to me, I must confess I have not enough formal education, and I feel the study of the philosophers Professor Green offered to us with this course, have not only contributed to a better understanding of the view I have of myself, but also a contribution to my own mental health. I thank all those collaborating to make this course possible and accessible to the public at large for this humanistic opportunity.

By Suzanne

Sep 06, 2018

This course was very well presented: challenging concepts were delivered in a coherent and approachable manner, inviting further exploration and discussion. The meditative moments of "mono-tasking" were a bonus! Thanks and kudos to Mitchell Green and Simon Fokt for a really worthwhile learning experience.