online course on philosophy

Are you interested in studying philosophy? We provide the best books and teachers for learning about philosophy. Online courses are a great way to learn philosophy. Learn about different types of schools of thoughts from famous philosophers. In our online courses we cover special topics like science, art, music and many more. We believe learning should be fun and interesting. Our courses are designed to help students learn at their own pace.

Studying philosophy offers a variety of benefits. You learn how to think critically. You also learn how to communicate more effectively. Philosophy teaches you how to analyze problems and critique arguments as well. An introductory philosophy course will also help you develop improved writing skills, better research skills, and you’ll develop an appreciation for other subjects.

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Disclaimer: Some courses may include an affiliate link. Courses were chosen first based on the methodology with affiliate links only added after the ranking was complete.

It is for these reasons that philosophy courses are often required for undergraduate students in college. These beginner courses are usually three credits and last for a semester if you take them in a traditional college setting.

But there are many different online philosophy courses you can take. You might take a free online philosophy course to get ahead with your studies before taking philosophy for credit. In fact, you can take an online philosophy course for college credit if you like. If an online philosophy course with certificate is something you want to do, that’s an option as well.

Studying philosophy online can help you gain new skills. It can also prepare you to take other philosophy courses in the future.

Selecting an online philosophy course can be a little overwhelming given how many options there are. The purpose of this ranking is to narrow the field down, that way you can select from some of the best online philosophy courses available.

To evaluate each course, we used a method that includes three different measures:

  • Affordability
  • Academic Value
  • Learning Level

Though there are other criteria that can be used to evaluate a course, these three criteria offer a complete picture for students. Understanding the cost of a course, the value it offers, and the learning level can help you select the right course for your needs.

This evaluation method is described more in the next section.

Methodology to Determine the Best Online Philosophy Courses

The method for ranking these online philosophy courses relies on two different types of scores.

First, each course is scored on the three independent measures mentioned above. Using these individual scores, you can quickly see which courses are the most affordable. You can also quickly see which courses have the highest academic value. The learning level of each class is also easy to see.

Second, we provide a cumulative score. This allows us to rank each class against the others. Those rankings take all three factors into account so you can see how each class compares to the others.

When selecting an online philosophy course with certificate or an online philosophy course for college credit, the more detail you have, the easier it is to make an informed decision. Below is a discussion of the three factors we used to create our rankings to give you even more details about the courses below.

Affordability

Some online philosophy courses are free. Others require you to pay a fee. Yet others are online philosophy courses for college credit and require you to pay tuition and fees.

This means that there is wide variability in affordability of these classes. Since the price of a course is often the most important factor for students, we weigh affordability heavier than the other two factors.

As you can see below, the less expensive a course is, the more points it earns:

  • Free: 6 points
  • Under $250: 5 points
  • $251-$500: 4 points
  • $501-$750: 3 points
  • $750-$1,000: 2 points
  • $1,000 and above: 1 point

While affordability is important, it isn’t the only thing you should consider when choosing an online philosophy course.

In some cases, a free course might be your best option. For example, if you just want to take a course for fun, a free class is ideal. But if you want to take an online philosophy course for college credit, it will be more expensive.

So, you have to consider your needs in addition to the price of a course.

Academic Value

As noted above, a free online philosophy course is usually less expensive than an online philosophy course for college credit. Part of the reason for this is the difference in academic value.

Academic value is a term we use to describe the educational benefits a course offers. For example, online philosophy courses for college credit offer more academic value than free online philosophy courses. Earning college credit can help you earn your degree; a free course doesn’t offer that benefit.

When examining academic value, we also consider if the course is from an accredited school. Getting credit from an accredited school is helpful because it makes it more likely that the credit you earn will transfer to another school.

We also look at the number and type of learning materials that come with the class. The more materials you have available to you, the more academic value you are likely to get from the class.

This factor is scored as follows:

  • High academic value: 2 points
  • Average academic value: 1 point

Note that courses with below-average academic value are not included in the rankings.

Learning Level

The third factor we used for ranking these online philosophy courses is their learning level. As shown below, the higher the learning level, the more points a course earns:

  • Advanced: 3 points
  • Intermediate: 2 points
  • Beginner: 1 point

More advanced courses earn more points because they tend to focus on a much narrower subject. For example, an introduction to philosophy course covers a wide range of topics. But none of those topics is studied in great detail. However, a philosophy of religion course focuses on a narrower topic – religion.

Additionally, more advanced courses usually have much more complex assignments. This means that intermediate and advanced courses offer a greater challenge to students.

Understanding the learning level of a course is also important so you take classes that fit your needs. If you’re majoring in philosophy, you likely don’t need to take a beginner course. But if you’re looking for your very first philosophy course, a beginner course is just what you need.

Now that you have a better understanding of our ranking system, let’s get to the rankings of the 14 best online philosophy courses.

Ranking the Best Online Philosophy Courses

#14: Phi 370: Philosophy of Religion

This online philosophy course for college credit is offered by Thomas Edison State University. It is three semester credits. The course focuses on the philosophy of religion.

You’ll explore the philosophical issues of religion as a human construct. This means you’ll discuss proof of the existence of God. You’ll also discuss the varieties of religious experiences around the world.

Other topics in this course include:

  • Religion and ethics
  • Immortality
  • Multiculturalism

To learn about religions and their philosophical characteristics, you’ll read from some of the most influential religious texts.

Since this is an upper-level course, you should take introduction to philosophy before enrolling.

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Points: 5

Affordability: Approximately $4,671

Academic Value: High. This course is from an accredited school. Credits earned will likely transfer to another school. This is also an upper-level undergraduate course. This makes it more challenging from an academic standpoint.

Learning Level: Intermediate

#13: Moral and Political Philosophy Certificate

This online philosophy course with certificate is available from Fort Hays State University. It’s actually a 9-credit certificate program. This means you have to take three classes to get the certificate.

You can choose from a number of different classes to fulfill the requirements of the certificate. You might learn:

  • Ethics
  • Political philosophy
  • Philosophy of law
  • Business Ethics
  • Bioethics

Fort Hays State University also allows you to take topical courses in philosophy. These courses allow you to study a philosopher of your choice if such studies are not otherwise available.

You must complete each of the three courses with a grade of C or better. These courses are instructor-led, so you might have to “meet” online at specific times or have specific due dates.

Since Fort Hays State University is accredited, the credits you earn might transfer to another school.

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Points: 5

Affordability: Approximately $2,041.92

Academic Value: High. This certificate program is from an accredited school. You can earn credits for each course in the certificate program as well.

Learning Level: Intermediate

#12: Political Philosophy: An Introduction

This online philosophy course for college credit is offered by the University of Oxford. It is a beginner course that examines some of the most important documents in Western politics.

You will explore the state of nature and John Locke’s contributions to that line of thinking. You’ll also study utilitarianism and the principle of fairness.

Other topics include:

  • Plato and democracy
  • Liberty
  • Private property
  • Rawl’s theory of justice

Additionally, you’ll study feminism and liberalism. There is also a unit on Jean Jacques Rousseau and his thoughts on democracy.

This course is offered for credit. If you are an American student, the credits may or may not transfer to your school. Be sure to check with your academic advisor regarding transfer credits.

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Points: 7

Affordability: Approximately $409.33

Academic Value: High. This course is from the University of Oxford, one of the best colleges in the world. It is available for credit. You can also get a certification if you wish. Extensive learning materials are available as well.

Learning Level: Beginner

#11: Critical Thinker Academy: Learn to Think Like a Philosopher

This beginner course from Udemy focuses on developing critical thinking skills. This includes logic, rhetoric, and argument analysis.

These skills are important to have in school. They are also important to possess in your working life. As a result, this is an excellent course for people that want to learn about philosophy and develop tangible skills at the same time.

Other topics of study include:

  • Personal development
  • Cognitive biases
  • Tribal psychology

You’ll also go over the major principles of writing an effective essay. You’ll learn how beliefs and judgments can be clouded by bias as well.

Most students are able to finish this online philosophy course in about 20 hours. It is self-paced, though. You also get lifetime access, so you can take as long as you need to finish the class.

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Points: 7

Affordability: Approximately $15.99

Academic Value: Average. This course includes videos, articles, and 17 downloadable resources to help you learn. A certificate of completion is available upon finishing the class. The skills learned in this class are applicable to many other areas of life.

Learning Level: Beginner

#10: Introduction to the Philosophy of the Mind

This beginner philosophy course is from Udemy. It’s a good class for people who have no experience in studying philosophy.

The main focus of this course is on explaining the primary theories of Western philosophy. Specifically, you’ll examine the nature of the body and mind and how the two interact.

You’ll also explore topics related to:

  • Dualism
  • Reductive physicalism
  • Religious attitudes

This online philosophy course was designed to be as interactive as possible. The course includes many different learning activities. This includes narrated slideshows of important topics. There are also quizzes after each section to help you gauge your learning.

Expect to spend just a few hours to finish this class. It is a self-paced course, so you can take as long as you need.

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Points: 7

Affordability: Approximately $12.99

Academic Value: Average. This course is not offered for credit. Udemy is not accredited, either. However, you get plenty of study materials to go with this course. This includes videos, articles, and downloadable resources.

Learning Level: Beginner

#9: Philosophy 103: Ethics – Theory & Practice

This undergraduate course is offered by Study.com. You can take the class for three semester credit hours. Those credits might be transferable to your college of choice.

Ethics is the study of morality. In this course, you’ll learn about ethics in terms of ethical theory as well as ethical practice.

Specific topics include:

  • Altruism
  • Existentialism
  • Business ethics
  • Healthcare ethics

Additionally, you’ll discuss social and personal ethics. Utilitarianism is also a central topic.

This is a self-paced course. Each lesson is short and is accompanied by a video. To help improve access, you can take the course online or via a smartphone app.

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Points: 8

Affordability: Approximately $199 per month

Academic Value: High. This course can be taken for college credit. Fast-track options are available to save time and money. There are many different learning materials to help you master the course content.

Learning Level: Beginner

#8: Ancient Philosophy: Plato and His Predecessors

This is an intermediate course. It was developed by the University of Pennsylvania. It is offered online by Coursera.

This class looks at the beginnings of philosophy. It connects the Western notions of philosophy with the first philosophers in Ancient Greece.

Topics that you’ll study include:

  • Reality
  • God
  • Naturalist inquiry
  • Virtues

This free online philosophy course also dives into topics like justice and goodness.

This is a short course. Most students can complete it in about 14 hours of study. However, it is a self-paced course. This means you can take as much or as little time as you need to finish the class.

You also get the benefit of learning 100 percent online. You can set and reset deadlines as you need as well.

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Points: 8

Affordability: Free to enroll. A fee (usually around $50) might be required. Other costs are involved if you participate in a specialization (usually $39-$79 per month). Learn more about Coursera pricing. This is scored as a paid course.

Academic Value: Average. This course was specifically designed for online students. That means there is a lot of support to help you learn. This includes online resources like videos. There is multiple language support as well. You can also get a certificate when the course is completed.

Learning Level: Intermediate

#7: Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors

This is an intermediate course from the University of Pennsylvania. It is offered by Coursera.

This course asks the question, “How does philosophy differ from other forms of human discourse?” To answer that question, you will explore the influence of Aristotle and other philosophers from Ancient Greece.

The free online philosophy course begins with a study of the Pre-Socratic era. You’ll learn about:

  • The first scientists
  • Thales and his thoughts on reality
  • Heraclitus’ theory of order in the world

Socrates is also a primary subject in this class. You’ll learn how he focused on the question of how to live. Aristotle is also a central subject. His theories of nature, reality, and knowledge will be studied in depth.

This short course takes about 15 hours to complete. Course deadlines are flexible. This means you can take as long as you need to finish the class.

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Points: 8

Affordability: Free to enroll. A fee (usually around $50) might be required. Other costs are involved if you participate in a specialization (usually $39-$79 per month). Learn more about Coursera pricing. This is scored as a paid course.

Academic Value: Average. This is an excellent mid-level course that explores Ancient Greek philosophy in great detail. You get multiple video lessons. Transcripts are available in a variety of languages. There are also many different readings and unit quizzes.

Learning Level: Intermediate

#6: Philosophy and Critical Thinking

This free beginner online philosophy course was developed by the University of Queensland. It is available online from edX.

This course focuses on the relationship between philosophy and critical thinking. Specifically, you’ll consider what can be learned through philosophical inquiry.

Topics of study include:

  • How to think clearly
  • How to develop strong arguments
  • How to develop solutions to problems

You’ll also learn how to take part in philosophical conversations. This includes learning how to think clearly, develop logical arguments, and communicate effectively.

This is a six-week course. However, it is self-paced if you need more time to finish. Once you successfully complete the course, you can get a certificate. The certificate is $99.

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Points: 8

Affordability: Free

Academic Value: Average. This philosophy course includes all the learning materials you need. It is not for credit. However, it is a good introduction to learning how to think critically. You can also opt to pay for a certificate if you like.

Learning Level: Beginner

#5: Introduction to Philosophy

This introductory online philosophy course is offered by Coursera. It was developed by the University of Edinburgh.

This class is a basic introduction to the main areas of philosophy. Each of the five course modules explore important areas of philosophy. This includes:

  • What is philosophy?
  • Morality: Objective, relative or emotive?
  • What is knowledge? And do we have any?
  • Do we have an obligation to obey the law?

Additionally, this free online philosophy course explores the relationship between the human mind and computers. You’ll also discuss scientific theories, free will, and even time travel.

This is a short course. It usually takes around 19 hours to finish. If you’ve never taken a philosophy course, this is a good start.

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Points: 8

Affordability: Free

Academic Value: Average. This philosophy course includes a variety of learning materials both online and offline. There are flexible deadlines to help you finish the course on your own time. Multiple language support is available. You also get a certificate upon completing the course.

Learning Level: Beginner

#4: Justice

This beginner course was developed by Harvard University. It is available online on edX.

This free online philosophy course explores a variety of topics related to justice. You’ll explore justice in both a historical sense and in terms of contemporary ideas.

In the context of studying justice, you’ll learn about:

  • Same-sex marriage
  • Affirmative action
  • Income distribution
  • Human rights

There is also a discussion of property rights. You’ll explore the idea of equality as well.

To explore these topics, you’ll read the writings of philosophers like John Stuart Mill and Immanual Kant, among others. You’ll also examine court cases and political controversies from the modern era.

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Points: 8

Affordability: Free

Academic Value: Average. This online philosophy course was developed by Harvard University, which increases its academic value. It is not for credit. However, it is a good introduction to philosophy and the notion of law and order. A certificate is available for $139..

Learning Level: Beginner

#3: Moral Foundations of Politics

This top free online philosophy course was developed by Yale University. It is offered by Coursera.

The primary question this course seeks to answer is this: When do governments deserve our allegiance, and when should they be denied it.

To find the answer, you’ll explore the moral foundations of politics in the modern West. As part of your studies, you’ll examine:

  • Utilitarianism
  • Marxism
  • Social contracts
  • Economic inequality

Additionally, you’ll have a chance to debate topics like affirmative action and health care. You’ll explore the limits of state power, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion as well.

This course can be completed totally online. It is a longer course. It requires around 50 hours of coursework to finish. Once finished, you will receive a completion certificate.

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Points: 9

Affordability: Free

Academic Value: Average. This free philosophy course is from Yale University, one of the best universities in the world. There is multiple language support. You get a variety of online learning materials as well.

Learning Level: Intermediate

#2: Philosophy of Law

This top intermediate course from MIT looks at the central issues of the philosophy of law.

You’ll begin with a discussion of the nature of law. You’ll also look at the content of law. From there, you’ll learn about other important issues, including:

  • Morality
  • Theories of legal interpretation
  • Obeying the law

Furthermore, you’ll explore the philosophical issues related to punishment. Ethics are a central part of this course as well. The notion of liberty is also studied.

This course was developed for undergraduate students. It is no longer offered by the university. However, you can take it as a self-paced, independent study course. No credit is available, but if you’re interested in philosophy and law, this could be a very interesting class.

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Points: 9

Affordability: Free

Academic Value: Average. This free philosophy course was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is one of the top universities in the United States. It is not offered for credit. However, it is an excellent introduction to the relationship between philosophy and law.

Learning Level: Intermediate

#1: Introduction to Logic

This best philosophy beginner course is available online from Stanford. It is a brief introduction to logic. Logic is one of the main components of the study of philosophy.

You’ll begin the class with a short introduction to logic. You’ll then learn about logical sentences and how to create them. Other topics include:

  • Logical entailment
  • Logical proof
  • Formalization
  • Automation

There are over a dozen total units of study in this class. Since it’s self-paced, you can take as long as you need to complete the course requirements.

This best online philosophy course comes with many different materials to help you learn. This includes readings, assignments, and puzzles.

No credit is available. But the logic skills you gain over the course of the class can prove invaluable to you.

Visit the course website.

Points: 9

Affordability: Free

Academic Value: Average. This best free online course was developed for undergraduate students at Stanford. The content of the course is top-notch. However, it is not offered for credit. There is not a certificate option available either.

Learning Level: Intermediate

Frequently Asked Questions

Can high school students take online philosophy courses?

Yes. There are many online philosophy courses that are open to high school students. In fact, most of the courses in our rankings are available for high school students to enroll.

This is especially true of the online philosophy courses from websites like edX and Coursera. These courses tend to be open and self-paced. All you have to do is enroll and you can begin taking the course!

Courses like this are usually not for credit. However, this doesn’t mean that high schoolers can’t take an online philosophy course for college credit. In some cases, some undergraduate philosophy courses from colleges and universities might be available for high schoolers. This is especially true if the course is a 100 or 1000 level. These courses are the most basic and represent an initial introduction to the field of philosophy.

If you want to take a college philosophy course as a high schooler, you will need to accomplish a few things. First, check the prerequisites. Even some beginner college philosophy courses might require students to have taken another philosophy course first.

Second, you’ll need to enroll as a student at the college or university that’s offering the course. Even if you audit the class and opt not to get credit for it, you’ll still need to go through the process of enrolling as a student at the school.

If you’re new to the study of philosophy, it might be a good idea to take a free, beginner course first. Doing so allows you to get your feet wet without paying for the course. If you enjoy the course, you can take other free courses at your leisure. And if you continue to want to study philosophy, then you might take a more rigorous online philosophy course for credit.

Can I study philosophy online?

Yes. Studying philosophy online is a convenient way to learn more about this field. In fact, there are a wide range of courses and topics you can study in an online philosophy course.

Some online philosophy courses are informal, self-paced classes. These are usually intended for students that want to learn more about philosophy on their own.

Other online philosophy courses are more involved. For example, you might take an online philosophy course for college credit. This can help you meet certain course requirements for your college degree.

Online philosophy courses for college credit are offered at different levels. There are undergraduate online philosophy courses as well as those for graduate students. There are even online philosophy courses for doctoral students.

You can also take an online philosophy course with certificate if you like. These courses also come in many different varieties, as explained in the next question and answer.

Are there online philosophy courses with certificates?

Yes, there are a lot of online philosophy courses with certificates. The types of certificates vary. And it’s important to understand the difference between the types of certificates you can get.

The most basic certificate is one you get by simply completing a course. In some cases, the certificate is free. You just have to have a high enough grade in the course to get it.

In other cases, you might have to pay a fee for a completion certificate. Usually these fees are pretty low. But before you buy a certificate, you should consider whether it will be of use to you.

Completion certificates don’t hold much value when it comes to educational or professional standing. If you’re applying for college or for a job, simply listing the course as something you’ve completed will probably be of as much value as a completion certificate.

Additionally, if you’re taking a course for self-improvement, paying for a completion certificate is probably not necessary.

The next type of online philosophy course with certificate is an educational certificate. Unlike completion certificates, educational certificates typically require much more work. In fact, educational certificates usually involve taking four or five individual courses.

This means that educational certificates are also more time-consuming and more expensive. This type of certificate is usually provided by colleges or universities. So taking multiple courses means paying a lot more money for tuition and fees.

However, this type of certificate is much more powerful than a completion certificate. Upon completion, you’ll have a legitimate educational certificate from the school. You can hang this certificate on your wall just like a degree. The courses you take will also be on your transcripts. And you can list the certificate under the education section of your resume.

For example, Harvard University offers a Philosophy and Ethics Graduate Certificate. It’s a one-and-a-half-year program and costs about $11,600. Not everyone will want or need to spend that kind of time and money for a philosophy certificate. However, it could prove useful to you if you intend to pursue a career in this field.

A professional certificate is given by professional philosophy organizations. Instead of being years of coursework like an educational certificate, a professional certificate might require you to have a certain number of years of experience or a certain level of education to apply. To get a certificate, you might have to take an exam.

There are many different professional organizations in philosophy that might have certificates available. This includes the American Philosophical Association and the American Philosophical Society.

When you get a professional certificate, it means you can add a designation to your title. For example, the American Philosophical Practitioners Association offers a certification as a Level 1 Philosophical Counselor. Once you get the certification, you can market yourself as such.

So, you can see how the three types of certifications differ. You can also see how educational and professional certifications provide you with more status and benefits than a simple completion certification.

Can I take an online philosophy course for college credit?

Yes. Many different philosophy courses are offered for college credit. These courses are usually offered by colleges and universities. However, in some cases, you might be able to take an online philosophy course for college credit from an educational website and earn credit. This is fairly rare, but it does occur.

When taking an online philosophy course for college credit, you need to make sure of a couple of things. 

First, make sure that the college or university that’s offering the course is accredited. Regional accreditation is preferred. This is because courses from a regionally accredited school are the most likely to transfer to other schools.

National accreditation is common as well. But it isn’t as prestigious as regional accreditation. Still, you might find that a course from a nationally accredited school will count at the school you’re attending.

Secondly, before enrolling in an online philosophy course for college credit, be sure you speak with your academic advisor. They can tell you if the course you take will be accepted at your school. Additionally, they will be able to tell you if the course will fulfill specific graduation requirements or not.

For example, if you take an introduction to philosophy course online, it might transfer to your school as a philosophy course. This enables you to fulfill a specific course requirement for your degree. But in some cases, transferred courses don’t count for a specific requirement. Instead, they are transferred in as a general credit. When this occurs, you’d still have to take an introduction to philosophy course at your school because the online course doesn’t count.

Again, this varies based on the course and the schools involved. It’s best to get familiar with the process and talk to your advisor first, that way you don’t take an online philosophy class that might not count for the credit you need.

What are the best free online philosophy courses?

There are all kinds of great free online philosophy courses you can take. Most are beginner courses. These courses give you an introduction to philosophy. This helps you prepare to take future courses in philosophy and more difficult courses at that.

Usually, beginner courses offer a broad view of philosophy. This is called a survey course. In other words, you “survey” philosophy and learn a lot of different things. However, you don’t study any single topic in great detail. That’s why these courses are good to take for learning the basics.

There are also intermediate and even advanced philosophy courses available for free. These courses tend to go into much greater detail on a certain topic in philosophy than introductory courses.

For example, the Moral Foundations of Politics course in our rankings above focuses on philosophy’s application to politics. Furthermore, it examines political theories of the Enlightenment and how they apply to today’s political world.

Contrast that with the Introduction to Philosophy course, also in our rankings. This course includes studies on half a dozen general topics. Again, you get a “survey” of philosophy and not a deep dive into any particular topic.

The two courses that were just mentioned are great examples of free online philosophy courses that you can take. Below is a list of other options you might be able to find for free:

Critical Thinking – Philosophy courses in critical thinking focus on the features of good and bad arguments. You’ll learn how to be persuasive in your arguments. You’ll also learn the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning. These courses often explore probability and statistics. You’ll learn what a logical proof is. There are studies in legal reasoning as well.

Ethics – Ethics courses introduce you to the concepts of human rights and social justice. Discussions revolve around right and wrong, duty, and values. Depending on the instructor, you might learn about civil liberties, environmental ethics, or social behavior. Specific topics are often explored as well. These might include capital punishment, affirmative action, or abortion.

Symbolic Logic – This course focuses specifically on ways to evaluate deductive arguments. You’ll explore topics like how to make decisions and formal fallacies. You’ll also learn about creating argument forms and propositional logic.

Ancient Philosophies – This is a great foundational course in philosophy. It explores the basis of philosophy in Ancient Greece and Rome. You’ll learn about the contributions of Plato, Aristotle, and Epicurus to this field. You’ll also learn about Medieval-era philosophers like Aquinas and Augustine.

Philosophy of Religion – Courses in religion focus on the existence or nonexistence of God. The objective of courses like this is to examine the assumptions of religion in order to develop a better understanding of the philosophy of religion. You’ll examine the nature of religious truth as well as different traditions in religion. You’ll also explore different philosophical arguments both for and against religion.

Human Rights – This course seeks to quantify moral and human rights. It looks at the nature of human rights as well as the justification for human rights. Legal and moral issues are explored. So too are issues related to the future of human rights around the globe.

What do you learn in a philosophy course?

As noted in the previous question and answer, the topics you study in a philosophy course vary from one class to the next.

However, in general terms, philosophy is the study of logic and reason. The term philosophy means “love of wisdom,” so it teaches skills that enable you to learn about the world around you. This includes critical thinking and logical analysis. You’ll also learn how to read critically and write clearly.

While much of philosophy is abstract, the tools mentioned above are a crucial benefit of learning philosophy. These skills can be used to advance your understanding of educational topics. They can also help you perform better at work. Of course, the heightened understanding you gain about human existence is a benefit as well.

What you learn in a philosophy course is also guided by some central questions. This includes:

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Does God exist?
  • What makes a wrong a wrong?
  • Do our senses describe reality accurately?
  • What is the best way we should live, and how do we achieve that?

This is just a short list of questions you might learn about in a philosophy course. But as you can see, they all revolve in some way around human existence and the human experience.

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