Buddhism and Modern Psychology

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Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4724 reviews

Course Description

The Dalai Lama has said that Buddhism and science are deeply compatible and has encouraged Western scholars to critically examine both the meditative practice and Buddhist ideas about the human mind. A number of scientists and philosophers have taken up this challenge. There have been brain scans of meditators and philosophical examinations of Buddhist doctrines. There have even been discussions of Darwin and the Buddha: Do early Buddhist descriptions of the mind, and of the human condition, make particular sense in light of evolutionary psychology? This course will examine how Buddhism is faring under this scrutiny. Are neuroscientists starting to understand how meditation “works”? Would such an understanding validate meditation—or might physical explanations of meditation undermine the spiritual significance attributed to it? And how are some of the basic Buddhist claims about the human mind holding up? We’ll pay special attentio... The Dalai Lama has said that Buddhism and science are deeply compatible and has encouraged Western scholars to critically examine both the meditative practice and Buddhist ideas about the human mind. A number of scientists and philosophers have taken up this challenge. There have been brain scans of meditators and philosophical examinations of Buddhist doctrines. There have even been discussions of Darwin and the Buddha: Do early Buddhist descriptions of the mind, and of the human condition, make particular sense in light of evolutionary psychology? This course will examine how Buddhism is faring under this scrutiny. Are neuroscientists starting to understand how meditation “works”? Would such an understanding validate meditation—or might physical explanations of meditation undermine the spiritual significance attributed to it? And how are some of the basic Buddhist claims about the human mind holding up? We’ll pay special attention to some highly counterintuitive doctrines: that the self doesn’t exist, and that much of perceived reality is in some sense illusory. Do these claims, radical as they sound, make a certain kind of sense in light of modern psychology? And what are the implications of all this for how we should live our lives? Can meditation make us not just happier, but better people?
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Reviews 7/10 stars
2 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

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Dmytro Sawochkin profile image
Dmytro Sawochkin profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 64 reviews
  • 58 completed
2 years, 5 months ago
Good course, which (1) gives listeners some basic knowledge about Buddhism, it's main ideas and main types, and (2) some understanding of how basic Buddhism ideas find it's confirmation in a modern psychology. Sometimes it seemed to me, that author of the course has confirmation bias, but in a lot of the cases his observations are pretty interesting and sometimes inspiring. I would recommend this course to everybody, who's interested in Buddhism, and well, as in psychology.
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6/10 starsTaking Now
  • 2 reviews
  • 0 completed
3 years, 4 months ago
The professor's understanding of the subject felt entirely scholarly and not nearly experiential enough. While that may work for many subjects, it didn't feel like it worked here. In Zen, they say the teachings are like a finger pointing towards the moon, and it is important not to mistake the finger pointing for the moon itself. That is what it felt like happened here. In addition, Coursera's new look/feel is very troublesome to deal with. I turned due dates off so I could just concentrate on the content and learning, but the website kept switching them back on...over and over again. I much prefer working with courses on the edX site.
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