1. To support our site, MoocLab may be compensated by some course providers through affiliate links.

Coursera Buddhism and Modern Psychology

Princeton University via Coursera

  • Overview
  1. Coursera
    Platform:
    Coursera
    Provider:
    Princeton University
    Length:
    6 weeks
    Effort:
    2-5 hours a week
    Language:
    English
    Overview
    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?

    All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion.

    Syllabus
    • The Buddhist Diagnosis
    • The Buddhist Prescription
    • Does Your Self Exist?
    • A New Model of the Mind
    • Mental Modules and Meditation
    • What is Enlightenment?

    Taught by
    Robert Wright

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice