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Last updated:

November 24, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course will introduce you to the Western philosophical tradition through the study of thinkers such as Plato,

Aristotle, Descartes, Cavendish, Hume, and Kant. You’ll grapple with questions that have been significant to philosophy from its beginnings: Questions about the nature of the mind, the existence of God, the foundations of knowledge, and the good life. You’ll also observe changes of intellectual outlook over time, and the effect of scientific, religious, and political concerns on the development of philosophical ideas.

Course Curriculum

  • The Apology and Crito Unlimited
    • Study Questions for the Apology, Crito, and Euthyphro Unlimited
    • Socratic Definition and the Elenchus Unlimited
    • Socrates on Weakness of Will Unlimited
    • Meno and the Paradox of Inquiry Unlimited
    • Immortality and Forms in the Phaedo Unlimited
    • Matter and Form, Body and Soul, in De Anima Unlimited
    • Aristotle on Happiness Unlimited
    • Aristotle on Virtue Unlimited
    • Cartesian Doubt in Meditation 1 Unlimited
    • Descartes’ Cogito (Meditation 2) Unlimited
    • Descartes on God and Matter (Meditations 3–5) Unlimited
    • The Real Distinction between Mind and Body (Meditation 6) Unlimited
    • Hume’s Empiricism Unlimited
    • Hume on Induction Unlimited
    • Hume on Causation Unlimited
    • Kant and the Moral Will Unlimited
    • Kant’s Categorical Imperative Unlimited
    • Mill’s Utilitarianism Unlimited
    • The Subjection of Women Unlimited
    • Three Philosophers on Slavery Unlimited
    • Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk Unlimited
    • Beauvoir on Gender, Oppression, and Freedom Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology