Know Thyself

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10/10 stars
based on  32 reviews
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FREE

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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
4733 reviews

Course Description

An investigation of the nature and limits of self-knowledge from the viewpoints of philosophy, psychoanalysis, experimental psychology, neuroscience, aesthetics, and Buddhism.  Readings are drawn from classical Western, non-Western, and contemporary sources.
Reviews 10/10 stars
32 Reviews for Know Thyself

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
It was exellent!! I took this course 2 years ago, and it was great course! I really liked it, and I will love to complete this course one more time.
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Javier Fidalgo profile image
Javier Fidalgo profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 7 months ago
Totally recommended. Have done it almost a year now I´ve done quite a several MOOCs by now. This is, so far, one of my three favourites.
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Jeff Winchell profile image
Jeff Winchell profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 91 reviews
  • 66 completed
4 years, 10 months ago
I really enjoyed this class and the professor's style. Doing his lectures outdoors was really inspiring too. Because I had other time constraints, if the professor ever offers this again, I will take this class again to fully appreciate it. In the mean time, I fortunately got a copy of the videos (thank you RT).
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Hal DuBois profile image
Hal DuBois profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
Hmmm...how should I describe my "experience in the field?" How about, "I've been knowing myself for as long as I can remember." Seriously, this is a great course that left me wanting more. Of the online offerings I've explored, I'd say this one was the best at offering a variety of depths, all dependent on personal interest and motivation. You can "get by" by taking solid notes while listening to the ample set of well-executed lectures, take in the easily accessed supplementary readings, or go for the gusto and tackle sets of study problems. The course is a mix of psychological and philosophical viewpoints, so some students might suggest that the difficulty is something like "medium plus" given assessment questions that draw some close distinctions. All in all, worth every ounce of effort.
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Ricardo Teixeira profile image
Ricardo Teixeira profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 86 reviews
  • 77 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
If you're into Philosophy, this is a great course. Don't expect big flashy PPT presentations - Professor Mitch just talks against several backgrounds for an hour and a half each week. But that's also part of the enchantment. It doesn't feel like a MOOC. He seems to take you to his house or to his classroom and engulf you in a friendly conversation about self-knowledge. It's a pretty special course in that way. You don't need any specific background, but even if you have it you won't feel disappointed. You are guaranteed to learn something, since the course topics range from Socrates to Buddhism (!). I can't see a single drawback in this course. I personally hate the discussion forum in any philosophy course because a violently loud minority of students uses them to spew out unsubstantiated and poorly argued politics and ideology, instead of using them for a true discussion of the class topics. However, in this course the professor an... If you're into Philosophy, this is a great course. Don't expect big flashy PPT presentations - Professor Mitch just talks against several backgrounds for an hour and a half each week. But that's also part of the enchantment. It doesn't feel like a MOOC. He seems to take you to his house or to his classroom and engulf you in a friendly conversation about self-knowledge. It's a pretty special course in that way. You don't need any specific background, but even if you have it you won't feel disappointed. You are guaranteed to learn something, since the course topics range from Socrates to Buddhism (!). I can't see a single drawback in this course. I personally hate the discussion forum in any philosophy course because a violently loud minority of students uses them to spew out unsubstantiated and poorly argued politics and ideology, instead of using them for a true discussion of the class topics. However, in this course the professor and the TAs did a good job managing the forum.
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Taylor Gimbel profile image
Taylor Gimbel profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
Mitch Green put a lot of work into this class, and it paid off. Enjoyable, informative, thought-provoking - it engendered a lot of interesting discussions in the forums. A lot more learning to be had there (about both philosophy and human nature). Lots of input from Mitch there as well. A well- presented class from a thoughtful and enthusiastic teacher.
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Lu Suarez profile image
Lu Suarez profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
The course was awesome, I learned so much and Prof. Mitch Green is a fantastic speaker and he did make us think and question many of our pre-set ideas. I would truly recommend it to anyone who may truly wish to know oneself
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Gary profile image
Gary profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
This was a terrific class. Green's calm lecturing created a pleasant learning environment for thoughtful contemplation of the various philosophies studied in the class. The quizzes were relatively easy, but that was fine with me. The value here was in the lectures and readings.
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Timon profile image
Timon profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 10 reviews
  • 10 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
Nothing short of a masterpiece MOOC. Professor Mitchell has a very unique way of teaching - his lectures excite and calm at the same time. The course gave an overview of multiple theories of the self and touched on many different historical and contemporary branches of philosophy and psychology in doing so. I also want to highly recommend Professor Mitchell's book "Engaging Philosophy", which delves a little deeper into some of the subjects that were covered in the lectures.
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Tim Tribe profile image
Tim Tribe profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
I have no prior experience of the subject. I cannot compare this course to others, it is the first I have taken. I liked the course very much. It could have been written for me, I have been meditating and studying Buddhist texts for a couple of years in an attempt to understand more about life. The mixture of videos, suggested readings, study questions and quizzes was a useful way to navigate successfully through the course content. I made notes from the videos - and quite often stopped and started them as I tried to grasp the content. I also downloaded the text version of each video to help with the study questions and quiz. Towards the end of the course I tried to read the suggested readings before watching the videos, that seemed a logical approach. The study questions were helpful in checking that the material had been fully absorbed. The quizzes had some very difficult questions, sometimes forcing a review of both notes and sugg... I have no prior experience of the subject. I cannot compare this course to others, it is the first I have taken. I liked the course very much. It could have been written for me, I have been meditating and studying Buddhist texts for a couple of years in an attempt to understand more about life. The mixture of videos, suggested readings, study questions and quizzes was a useful way to navigate successfully through the course content. I made notes from the videos - and quite often stopped and started them as I tried to grasp the content. I also downloaded the text version of each video to help with the study questions and quiz. Towards the end of the course I tried to read the suggested readings before watching the videos, that seemed a logical approach. The study questions were helpful in checking that the material had been fully absorbed. The quizzes had some very difficult questions, sometimes forcing a review of both notes and suggested readings to ensure a reasonable score. And there were, I felt, a couple of incorrect answers :) I struggled with the forums and eventually gave up using them - so hard to wade through the posts to find anything of value.
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nurit profile image
nurit profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
I had no prior background in Philosophy or Psychology. Comparing it to other Coursera or University courses, this is one of the most thrilling learning experiences I ever had. The course was a journey in many levels. Prof Green is a gifted teacher, and is able to create a natural, warm, fun and challenging atmosphere.
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Wanda profile image
Wanda profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
I had no previous experience with the subject, but I found this course accessible. Professor Green explained the subjects very clearly, and the materials were interesting. It wasn't easy, by all means; you have to watch the lectures, read the texts and think a lot to really delve into the themes discussed. The work load, therefore, could become heavy in some weeks. The only 'complaint' I have is that the lectures only had the professor talking and explaining. I'm a visual learner, so visual resources during the lectures are very effective in helping me understand and follow the teachings, and I missed that a bit during Know Thyself. But I am definitely satisfied whit the course, and recommend it strongly to anyone, should it be offered again in the future.
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Andres Solis profile image
Andres Solis profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
\- What was your prior experience with the subject? I was curious, mostly; did not even know what to expect besides what was described in the course intro, which was interesting enough to get me enrolled. \- How does this course compare to others? Complements a huge deal to other courses, such as A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior, by Dan Ariely. \- What did you like/dislike about the course? Great teacher!
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Wendy Wilson profile image
Wendy Wilson profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
Lots of information in this course! Mitch Green covers so much ground - it's very wide-ranging in content. I did not do many of the recommended readings but still got quite a lot from the course. Prof Green is a wonderful teacher, explaining the various concepts of self clearly. Some may have found this distracting but I personally enjoyed that he filmed the lectures in different places, sometimes inside, sometimes outside. I especially enjoyed the lectures filmed on his back deck and ALL lectures that included the beautiful Clementine, his dog.
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L Figueroa profile image
L Figueroa profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
Professor Green did an outstanding job covering a wide variety of philosophical topics which are relevant to help better understand various aspects of the self. He is an engaging and enthusiastic lecturer. His meditation sessions at the start of each section of the course were novel and helpful.
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Matt Pierce profile image
Matt Pierce profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 completed
6 years, 5 months ago
This course made me want to change my major to psychology. It is absolutely fascinating. I actually went into it because I had recently become interested in philosophy of the mind, and this course was one of the most singularly informative and interesting that I've ever taken. I felt as thought the professor was initially a little nervous in the presentations, but he quickly became one of my favorite professors on Coursera. This course is more philosophically than hard science oriented, but does a great job introducing and exploring concepts from both sides of that coin. The professor was also really great about interacting with the students via the forums.
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Tracey Hill-Bensalem profile image
Tracey Hill-Bensalem profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
6 years, 5 months ago
This class was my first foray into coursera's offerings, and how fortunate I was to find it! I looked forward to each week's readings and the thought- provoking discussion not only in the videos but in the forums. Professor Green was enthusiastic and conveyed his passion for teaching and his subject, leaping over the potential limits of an online class. Excellent course. I hope to see more classes offered by this Professor!
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Kelebek profile image
Kelebek profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 15 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 5 months ago
Regardless of whether you have any philosophy background, Know Thyself is a class worth taking thanks to the brilliant Mitch Green. I was initially interested in this course when I noticed it would cover Buddhism and Eastern philosophy along with the usual Western fare. I wasn't disappointed. I've never been a fan of Descartes nor Freud but Professor Green made them "bearable" and I was introduced to some enjoyable modern (Western) thinkers ~ Tim Wilson and Antonio Damasio that broadened my views. The workload ended up being across the spectrum ~ some lessons were quite easy for me, a few made me really think. The average lesson was medium - made me think but without getting overwhelmed. The early lessons ran about an hour to an hour and a half for video work with additional suggested reading. Lesson 5 and after featured two sets of lessons that ended up running near two hours. There were no peer assignments and a weekly, one-shot qu... Regardless of whether you have any philosophy background, Know Thyself is a class worth taking thanks to the brilliant Mitch Green. I was initially interested in this course when I noticed it would cover Buddhism and Eastern philosophy along with the usual Western fare. I wasn't disappointed. I've never been a fan of Descartes nor Freud but Professor Green made them "bearable" and I was introduced to some enjoyable modern (Western) thinkers ~ Tim Wilson and Antonio Damasio that broadened my views. The workload ended up being across the spectrum ~ some lessons were quite easy for me, a few made me really think. The average lesson was medium - made me think but without getting overwhelmed. The early lessons ran about an hour to an hour and a half for video work with additional suggested reading. Lesson 5 and after featured two sets of lessons that ended up running near two hours. There were no peer assignments and a weekly, one-shot quiz. Fluency in English is probably a must for this course. Professor Green and his adorable dog Clementine were the highlight of this course, and the relaxed atmosphere the two created helped the knowledge subtly sink in. At points throughout the lessons, Professor Green provided meditation moments; I believe these helped prepare my mind for the upcoming lessons. I've often wished that more Coursera professors would use their surroundings in their lessons, Professor Green brought the beautiful spring Virginia scenery to us which also helped the atmosphere. I had enjoyed seeing Professor Lester's CalTech and Professor Bloomfield's section of UVA, I have really appreciated Coursera instructors who have allowed us far-flung students to get a glimpse of their environments. I highly recommend Know Thyself to anyone seeking a relaxed, enjoyable philosphy/thinking course, or those who have never taken philosophy before.
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 5 months ago
To my mind, you are going to like this course if you like reasoning and interpreting complex texts, reading works of such famous scholars of the past as Plato and Descartes, learning more about Buddhism and Zen, and also studying modern developments in Philosophy. Do not be misled by the name of the course - it is not about practical tools of self-development. Instead, you will have a chance to study Philosophy by watching fascinating lectures and answering tricky quizzes. I enjoyed it greatly, read almost all optional materials and watched every lecture. Professor Green is a fantastic lecturer and his choice of readings for this course is excellent.
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 6 months ago
This course has been a wonderful experience: an excellent, engaged instructor who presented thought-provoking material from a wide range of disciplines (philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, Buddhism). We learned not only factual material pertaining to the question of self-knowledge, but also the importance of critical thinking (always ask "What do you mean?" and "How do you know?"), the experience and value of meditation, and maybe even a little wisdom along the way. I have never taken/been interested in Philosophy classes before, but this class has changed my mind. I plan on taking more Coursera courses, and Dr. Green's act will be a tough one for any one to follow!
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 6 months ago
I had no prior experience with philosophy and was interested in learning about it. The first Coursera course I took was Introduction to Philosophy and I was not very impressed, though I did learn what philosophy was all about. The "Know Thyself" course was entirely different and should be a model for all Coursera Courses. Prof. Green and his staff did a fabulous job and I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was professionally done and worthy of being called a college course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 6 months ago
I have attended the classes of few of the best professors in my country. So I can compare. And I feel that Prof. Mitch Green is perhaps one of the world's best philosophy professor. It is a privilege to listen to him. In future if he launches another course ... I will just take it without even looking at the content ...
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 6 months ago
I had no prior experience with this subject, even so, I found this course was very approachable. Loved this course, its contents, and specially the delivery by the professor, it was very clear and thought provoking. The material was appropriate for the course and far more comprehensive than I expected. Overall, 5 stars or more if there were more :)
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9/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 6 months ago
This was my first course at Coursera and I am glad as it was very interestingly . I thought it was conducted most effectively by Prof. Green. The course whetted my appetite for more certainly so that I did do a lot of the extra reading and continue to do so. I only wished the Discussion Forum could have been better organised to be more of a help. Enjoyed the experience very much.
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Wendy Leslie profile image
Wendy Leslie profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
This was my first Coursera course and I couldn't have picked a better one! I had no prior experience with the subject matter and decided to take it just because it sounded interesting. Prof. Green was amazing and much of the subject is now a part of my daily life. I miss the course and all that it entailed. I would recommend this course to anyone and everyone!
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 6 months ago
This course helped me find words for experiences I've had. I deeply appreciate the effort Mitchell has put into this class. He definitely tried to step down and meet people that have no prior experience with these materials. The course was easy to follow for a non-native speaker. It's very digestible while being thought provoking. Taking this class was like meeting Mitchell once or twice a week in my room to debate certain things that come to mind during the day but one just hasn't got to time for to weigh up all the time. This course also helped me rationalize a lot of details I had been flooded with while inducing 'filterless states' with certain substances. I needed to adjust my somatic markers in the past to be able to think more clearly. Back then it felt like I was programming some machine, after this course it felt like I was cultivating a human being. I recommend this course to anyone who isn't afraid to change the view on wh... This course helped me find words for experiences I've had. I deeply appreciate the effort Mitchell has put into this class. He definitely tried to step down and meet people that have no prior experience with these materials. The course was easy to follow for a non-native speaker. It's very digestible while being thought provoking. Taking this class was like meeting Mitchell once or twice a week in my room to debate certain things that come to mind during the day but one just hasn't got to time for to weigh up all the time. This course also helped me rationalize a lot of details I had been flooded with while inducing 'filterless states' with certain substances. I needed to adjust my somatic markers in the past to be able to think more clearly. Back then it felt like I was programming some machine, after this course it felt like I was cultivating a human being. I recommend this course to anyone who isn't afraid to change the view on who/what he/she is. If these lessons would be released on DVD I'd buy it.
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10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 6 months ago
Most engaging and exciting course I've ever taken in my life (currently PhD level in electronic engineering)
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Mila Dvoretskaya-Lemme profile image
Mila Dvoretskaya-Lemme profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
I had psychology/philosophy classes before but not the combination of both like this class. I took two other classes at Coursera but none of them was so well prepared and engaging like Prof. Green's class. I like the material chosen for the class, I really LOVED that all lectures were filmed right before they were uploaded for viewing, it gave me feeling of "live" participation in the class. The discussion boards were overwhelming, I ended up not to use them due to poor organisation. I think there should have been one official discussion board for the week's topic and another one for technical issues or something like that.
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Patti Meredith profile image
Patti Meredith profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
I loved this class so much. Thirty some years ago I made a D in Search for Self at Virginia Tech, so I am happy to report that completed this course from UVA and didn't do too badly! The best news is that I not only learned a lot, my curiosity has been peaked and I am excited about further reading and understanding. Thank all of you for making this class possible. I wish Professor Green had a website with weekly meditations, etc... and I do hope he does a book based on this class. Thanks again.
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Rafael Iack profile image
Rafael Iack profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
The course for me was very complete, without leaving any gaps. The professor jumped from philosophy to neuroscience to psychology with mastery. His has a masters' degreee or a phD in philosophy of language, I don't remember well, but this made a difference for me: various well known "jargons" were reconstructed, making much more sense.
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