Know Thyself MOOC

The goal of this project is to create a new MOOC (= Massive Open Online Course) on the topic, 'Know Thyself: Self-Knowledge and Intellectual Humility'. 

It was the Delphic Oracle who famously offered the injunction to know thyself. In this course we shall, first, inquire into the nature of self-knowledge: is it a form of inner perception, somewhat like proprioception, by virtue of which our minds (and hearts) have internal scanners of their own states? Or should we construe self-knowledge in a way not crucially relying on a perceptual model? In that case, what other model might we use? Second, we will ask whether self-knowledge is conducive to intellectual humility, empathy, or open-mindedness, and if so, how? More generally, we shall inquire into the question why self-knowledge should be thought so important. Just what, if anything, is missing from a person lacking in self-knowledge that makes her significantly less wise, virtuous, or able than are others who have this capacity? Our exploration will take us into research in Western philosophy, psychoanalysis, current experimental psychology, neuroscience, philosophical theology, theories of human nature, aesthetics, and non-Western, particularly Buddhist philosophies as well. Along the way we will consider challenges that recent developments in neuroscience pose for the existence of free will, as well as the question of what it would mean to survive the destruction of your physical body and continue to exist in disembodied form. In aid of these investigation we will become students of our own dreams, and cultivate some meditative practices.

The course will draw together a wide range of philosophical topics and sources, and in the process offer a unique educational resource aimed at a worldwide audience. This project is part of the Templeton-funded 'Public Discourse Project' hosted by the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut. Eidyn will be drawing on its distinctive expertise in the creation of online educational resources in order to help create this exciting new MOOC.


Project team: 
  • Local Project Lead: Professor Duncan Pritchard
  • Overall Project Lead: Professor Mitchell Green (University of Connecticut)
  • Local Project Team: Dr. J. Adam Carter, Dr. Ian Church, Dr. S. O. Palermos
  • Learning Technologists: Nick Daniels, Dr. Simon Fokt