Introduction to Philosophy Course Reviews

The Introduction to Philosophy course by Dr. Dave Ward, available on Coursera, provides an overview of the key concepts and questions in philosophy.

Introduction to Philosophy Course Reviews
Introduction to Philosophy Course Reviews

The course is divided into 6 modules, each focusing on a different area of philosophy.

The first module covers metaphysics, which deals with the nature of reality, including the existence of God, free will, and the mind-body problem. The second module focuses on epistemology, which explores the nature and limits of knowledge, including skepticism, rationalism, and empiricism.

The third module covers ethics, which examines questions of morality, including ethical relativism, utilitarianism, and deontology. The fourth module focuses on political philosophy, which explores questions of justice and power, including the role of the state and individual rights.

The fifth module covers aesthetics, which examines questions of beauty and art, including the nature of artistic expression and the meaning of aesthetic experiences. Finally, the sixth module explores the history of philosophy, from ancient Greece to contemporary philosophy.

Throughout the course, students are introduced to key philosophers and their ideas, and are encouraged to think critically about philosophical questions and concepts. The course includes video lectures, readings, quizzes, and discussion forums. By the end of the course, students should have a solid understanding of the major concepts and questions in philosophy, and be able to engage in philosophical inquiry with confidence.

Course Content:

The Introduction to Philosophy course by author Dr. Dave Ward on Coursera is divided into 6 main parts and includes lectures, readings, quizzes, and discussion forums. The details of each part are as follows:

  1. Module 1: Metaphysics (6 lectures)
  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Metaphysics
  • Lecture 2: The Nature of Reality
  • Lecture 3: The Existence of God
  • Lecture 4: Free Will
  • Lecture 5: Personal Identity
  • Lecture 6: The Mind-Body Problem
  1. Module 2: Epistemology (6 lectures)
  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Epistemology
  • Lecture 2: Skepticism
  • Lecture 3: Rationalism
  • Lecture 4: Empiricism
  • Lecture 5: The Limits of Knowledge
  • Lecture 6: The Problem of Induction
  1. Module 3: Ethics (6 lectures)
  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Ethics
  • Lecture 2: Ethical Relativism
  • Lecture 3: Utilitarianism
  • Lecture 4: Deontology
  • Lecture 5: Virtue Ethics
  • Lecture 6: Moral Responsibility
  1. Module 4: Political Philosophy (6 lectures)
  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • Lecture 2: The State of Nature
  • Lecture 3: The Social Contract
  • Lecture 4: Liberty and Equality
  • Lecture 5: The Role of the State
  • Lecture 6: Individual Rights
  1. Module 5: Aesthetics (6 lectures)
  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Aesthetics
  • Lecture 2: The Definition of Art
  • Lecture 3: The Nature of Artistic Expression
  • Lecture 4: Aesthetic Experience
  • Lecture 5: The Meaning of Art
  • Lecture 6: The Value of Art
  1. Module 6: History of Philosophy (6 lectures)
  • Lecture 1: Introduction to the History of Philosophy
  • Lecture 2: Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Lecture 3: Medieval Philosophy
  • Lecture 4: Modern Philosophy
  • Lecture 5: 19th Century Philosophy
  • Lecture 6: Contemporary Philosophy

In total, the course has 36 lectures. Additionally, the course includes readings and quizzes for each part, along with a discussion forum for students to discuss and share their views with other students and the instructor.


The Introduction to Philosophy course by Dr. Dave Ward on Coursera is a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the field of philosophy. The course is divided into 6 modules, each focusing on a different branch of philosophy: Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, and the History of Philosophy.

Each module contains six lectures that cover the main concepts and ideas within that branch of philosophy. The lectures are presented in an engaging and easy-to-follow manner, and Dr. Ward does an excellent job of breaking down complex ideas into understandable terms. Additionally, the lectures are accompanied by supplementary readings that provide a deeper understanding of the topics covered in each module.

The quizzes and assignments in each module are challenging but fair, and they provide an opportunity for students to test their knowledge and apply the concepts they've learned. The assignments also encourage students to think critically about the topics covered in the course and to develop their own philosophical arguments.

The discussion forums are a particularly valuable aspect of the course, as they allow students to interact with each other and with Dr. Ward. The forums are well-moderated, and the discussions are lively and thought-provoking. Students are encouraged to share their own views and engage in respectful debate with their classmates.

One of the strengths of this course is its focus on diverse philosophical perspectives. Dr. Ward does an excellent job of presenting multiple viewpoints on each topic, and he encourages students to think critically and develop their own opinions. This approach allows students to develop a broad and nuanced understanding of philosophy, which is particularly valuable for those who are new to the field.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Introduction to Philosophy course by Dr. Dave Ward on Coursera. It is a well-structured, engaging, and comprehensive introduction to philosophy that provides a solid foundation for further study in this area.

At the time, the course has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars based on over 8,748 ratings.

What you'll learn:

After completing the Introduction to Philosophy course by Dr. Dave Ward on Coursera, students can expect to gain the following skills:

  1. Critical thinking: The course emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, and students are taught to evaluate arguments and ideas in a logical and systematic manner.

  2. Analytical skills: Students will learn to analyze complex philosophical ideas and theories, break them down into smaller components, and assess their implications.

  3. Communication skills: The course requires students to engage in discussions and debates with their peers and instructors, both in writing and orally. Students will develop their ability to articulate their ideas and arguments clearly and persuasively.

  4. Ethical reasoning: The course covers various ethical theories, which will help students develop their ethical reasoning skills and make more informed ethical decisions.

  5. Historical perspective: The course provides an overview of the history of philosophy, from ancient Greek philosophy to contemporary philosophy. Students will gain a historical perspective on philosophical ideas and how they have developed over time.

Overall, the Introduction to Philosophy course is an excellent way for students to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as their ability to communicate their ideas effectively. The course also provides students with a solid foundation in ethical reasoning and a historical perspective on philosophical ideas, which can be valuable in a variety of fields and careers.


Dr. Dave Ward is a well-respected philosopher and professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of St. Andrews in 1997 and has been teaching at the University of Edinburgh since 1999. He is also the director of the university's Eidyn Research Centre, which focuses on philosophical research in epistemology, metaphysics, and mind and language.

Dr. Ward has published numerous articles and books on a range of philosophical topics, including metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. His research interests include the nature of reality, the problem of perception, and the philosophy of science.

As a professor and instructor, Dr. Ward is known for his engaging teaching style and his ability to make complex philosophical concepts accessible to students of all levels. His course "Introduction to Philosophy" on Coursera is a testament to his expertise and skill as an educator.

Overall, Dr. Dave Ward is a highly accomplished and respected philosopher who has made significant contributions to the field of philosophy through his research and teaching.


The detailed requirements for Introduction to Philosophy course by Dr. Dave Ward on Coursera are:

  1. Access to a computer or mobile device with a stable internet connection and a modern web browser
  2. Basic computer literacy skills such as navigating web pages, downloading files, and using email
  3. Fluency in the English language to understand and engage with course materials
  4. A willingness to engage in critical thinking, logical reasoning, and philosophical inquiry
  5. Dedication to completing all course materials, including video lectures, readings, and assessments
  6. Active participation in online discussions and forums with fellow students, including respectful and constructive communication
  7. An open-minded approach to diverse perspectives and ideas, as well as an interest in exploring fundamental questions about life, reality, knowledge, ethics, politics, and aesthetics
  8. A commitment to academic integrity and honesty, including submitting original work and properly citing sources when necessary.

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