Philosophy is an interesting and important field that analyzes the ways in which we live on Earth. If you’d like to learn philosophy for beginners, check out the introduction to philosophy courses covered in this article.

In these best philosophy courses for beginners, you will learn everything you need to know about philosophy, such as the main theories of professional philosophers, feminist philosophy, and eastern philosophy. An introduction to the philosophy course highlights the common philosophical issues and those seeking answers to questions about the fundamental nature of human existence, knowledge and life.

Philosophy is an academic discipline that tries to reflect and answer fundamental questions in order to find the meaning of life. In the broadest sense of the word, philosophy seeks the why of things and tries to find the causes and ends of existence and the truths through reasoning and logic.

Philosophy encompasses the theory of knowledge and critical thinking to try to understand different areas of life such as religion, sociology, politics, mathematics, and art. Philosophy can also be seen as a series of reflections on the causes and effects of things, such as man and the universe. Notable areas include Greek philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, moral philosophy, and Eastern philosophy. Aristotle, Plato and Locke were some of the most famous philosophers.

Learning philosophy for beginners

  • Online courses† Online courses are an accessible introduction to the basics of philosophy. Beginners kunnen een specifieke cursus over een van de takken van academische filosofie kiezen, een interview met een auteur van een filosofie bekijken en een diepere duik nemen in de menselijke kennis om de antwoorden op het leven te krijgen waarnaar u misschien op zoek bent.
  • Books† Books allow students to read about the major theories of every professional philosopher, from female philosophers to American philosophers such as John Stuart Mill. You can find great books at a philosophy documentation center like the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a great book that covers the fundamentals.
  • Philosophical Dictionary† A philosophical dictionary will help you understand the important terms used in philosophical texts, which are often different from the meaning they have in everyday speech. You will also tackle different nuances of each branch of both ancient and contemporary philosophy.
  • canonical texts† Reading canonical texts, such as the Bible, gives you an idea about the philosophy of religion, a core topic throughout history. You can read chapter summaries online and choose the topics that interest you most. In this way you will understand the topic when discussing religious philosophy in class.
  • discussion forum† Word lid van een filosofisch discussieforum dat fundamentele filosofische vragen, conceptuele vragen in de theorie van kennis en de wetenschap van het leven bespreekt, en ethische kwesties tussen professionele filosofen, docenten en studenten die filosofiediploma’s nastreven.

Best Philosophy Courses for Beginners

Course Name provider Price Duration
An Introduction to Philosophy Alison Free 3 hours
Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness Massachusetts Institute of Technology through edX Free, certificate upgrade option available 12 weeks, at your own pace
Plato, Socrates and the Birth of Western Philosophy Tsinghua University through edX Free, certificate upgrade option available 16 weeks, at your own pace
Critical Thinker Academy: learn to think like a philosopher Udemy $ 109.99
Introduction to Moral Philosophy Udemy $ 34.99
Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind Udemy $ 34.99
Introduction to Philosophy University of Edinburgh via Coursera Free, certificate upgrade option available
Ancient Philosophy: Plato and His Predecessors University of Pennsylvania via Coursera Free, certificate upgrade option available
Philosophy of Science University of Pennsylvania via Coursera Free, certificate upgrade option available
Philosophy and Critical Thinking University of Queensland through edX Free, certificate upgrade option available 6 weeks, own pace

The best introduction to philosophy courses: explained

Women’s philosophers have greatly promoted feminist philosophy in the 20th century and beyond.

In a comprehensive sense, contemporary philosophers explore and connect different structures in life, such as mathematics, philosophical ethics and liberalism. These introductory courses examine important philosophical topics from ancient philosophy to contemporary philosophy, as well as the main theories and ideas of various philosophers and their recommendations to society.

An Introduction to Philosophy | Alison

In this course you will explore the basics of Western philosophy, moral philosophy and political philosophy. It begins with the history of philosophy that began in ancient Greece, and the philosophical contributions to modern societies of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. The course has been developed with a chronological approach, examining how Western philosophy has evolved into the modern era.

Introduction to Philosophy: God, Knowledge and Consciousness | MIT & EDX

In this course you learn independently philosophical thinking. You will think about topics such as the existence of a higher power, how knowledge is obtained, and the branches of knowledge, awareness of the physical world, free will, and perseverance over time.

You will acquire skills necessary for critical thinking and argumentation, one of the most important tasks of professionals in philosophy. If you choose to pursue a certificate, your assignments will be reviewed by professionals.

Plato, Socrates and the birth of Western philosophy | Tsinghua University & edX

In this online philosophy introduction course you will learn about the theories of ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and public figures, such as Aristotle, Plato and Heraclitus. Western philosophy is central to this course.

You will acquire critical thinking skills to explore noble values ​​and understand how to view the world around you. You will also learn about ethical foundations and the cultural and geographical ideas that influenced ancient philosophical theories.

Critical Thinker Academy: Learn to think like a philosopher | Udemy

In this Udemy course, you’ll learn how to expand your mind to think critically and independently. By examining topics such as logic, rhetoric, and argument, you will be able to learn to think for yourself and express your ideas clearly as a rational argument.

You will also learn techniques for analysis and reconstruction of arguments, and how to write argumentative essays and cite sources to avoid plagiarism.

Introduction to Moral Philosophy | Udemy

This course provides a basic introduction to moral philosophy, discussing the moral judgments of Western philosophy, ethical dilemmas and meta-ethical issues.

You will learn about key figures such as Aristotle, Kant and John Stuart Mill and their main theories in this field of philosophy. This course includes lectures, quizzes and activities.

Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind | Udemy

This course examines one of the most important theories of Western philosophy – the philosophy of mind. Intriguing topics such as the interaction between mind and body, the role of consciousness in life and the links between culture, religion and science are explored.

This beginners course is for any student who wants to understand the interconnected nature of man, body and soul.

Introduction to Philosophy | The University of Edinburgh and Coursera

In this Introduction to Philosophy course on Coursera, beginners will learn about philosophical objectives, methods, and how to differentiate them from other topics. During the course you will learn about the different areas of academic philosophy such as epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of morals, political philosophy and metaphysics.

Ancient Philosophy: Plato and His Predecessors | The University of Pennsylvania and Coursera

This course presents the ideas of the ancient Greek philosophers, who gave rise to Western philosophy. Deze cursus wordt in chronologische vorm gegeven, te beginnen met de voorgangers van Socrates en Plato, die in de afgelopen paar millennia antwoorden zochten op onderwerpen die de aard van realiteit, geluk en kennis overpeinsden, tot Aristoteles en zijn opvolgers.

Philosophy of Science | The University of Pennsylvania and Coursera

This University of Pennsylvania course offered by Coursera is based on examining the progress of science in understanding the world. Lecturer Michael Weisberg asks questions such as whether progress has been real or illusory, how scientists generate knowledge, scientific objectivity, values, and the relationship between science, religion and evolutionary biology.

Philosophy and Critical Thinking | University of Queensland and edX

This course teaches us to think critically and to analyze the principles of philosophy. You will learn to construct arguments to participate in discussions on important conceptual issues and to devise solutions to the problems on which philosophy is based. You will also learn about the justification of faith and the branches of knowledge and ethics, among other content items.

Is Learning Philosophy Worth It?

Yes, it is worth learning philosophy. There are many free online resources to help you learn about moral judgments and the meaning of life in the broadest sense of the word. In these courses you can explore and apply the fascinating and important knowledge of contemporary philosophy to reflect on your own experience.

Introduction to Philosophy FAQ

Is the introduction to philosophy easy?

Studying introduction to philosophy is relatively easy and can be very interesting and thought provoking. You will examine topic introductions from different points of view to understand socio-political philosophy without having to have any prior knowledge of the topic.

What are the 4 types of philosophy?

The four branches of philosophy are epistemology, metaphysics, logic and axiology. There are also important professional philosophers of Indian philosophy, African philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, Greek philosophy and Eastern philosophy, as well as important American philosophers and Aztec philosophers.

What is philosophy in simple terms?

Philosophy is the ‘love of wisdom’ and is the study of what it means to live in an uncertain world. The purpose of philosophy is to ask questions and seek answers regarding knowledge, moral systems, metaphysics, higher power(s), and other complicated truths.

Is philosophy hard to read?

Philosophy is not difficult to read if you start with a basic introductory philosophical book, or a philosophical dictionary to understand difficult terms. Be sure to focus on an area of ​​philosophy that grabs your attention and holds your interest. The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy might be good books to start your learning journey with.

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