5-DAY COURSE

Life’s Big Questions: Introduction to Philosophy Course

★★★★★ (19 reviews)

$29.00 USD

This introductory course distills philosophy's best answers to some of life's most troubling questions, taking you on a whirlwind journey of reflection, understanding, and discovery.

Life's Big Questions

Course materials are delivered direct to your inbox over five days, and accessible forever from any device.

Quickly understand philosophy’s best answers to some of life’s most troubling questions

Each day over five days, you'll receive beautifully-packaged materials that distill philosophy's best wisdom from the last two millennia, as well as guided reflections and curated further reading.

1Why Does Anything Exist?

On day one of Life's Big Questions, we'll consider why there is something rather than nothing. If God created the universe, why does God exist? If the Big Bang caused the universe, what set the preconditions for the Big Bang? Chapter #1 features answers from philosophical titans like Leibniz and Spinoza, as well as contemporary quantum physicists and thinkers like Lawrence Krauss and Derek Parfit. Want a sneak peek? Read an extract from this chapter here.

Why Does Anything Exist?

2Is the World Around Us ‘Real’?

On day two of Life's Big Questions, we'll inspect the extent to which the world around us reflects ‘reality’. Do our senses deceive us about what's really there? Can we ever prove that we're not all brains in vats? To face up to these questions, Chapter #2 draws on the approaches of philosophical giants Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Interested in what's inside? Read an extract from this chapter here.

Is the World Around Us ‘Real’?

3What Makes Us Conscious?

Are feelings and experiences something different from our brains, or are they our brains? Do they happen in addition to all the physical processes in our brains, or are they identical to them? On day three, we'll consider the mystery of consciousness, featuring discussions from contemporary philosophers of mind like Thomas Nagel and David Chalmers.

What Makes Us Conscious?

4Do We Have Free Will?

If we live in a world governed by cause and effect, and these causal chains stretch back to the beginning of the universe, where does human agency fit in? Is the freedom we feel in our actions simply an illusion? On day four, we'll investigate the strange problem of free will, drawing from philosophical greats like Schopenhauer to contemporary neuroscientists and thinkers like Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett.

Do We Have Free Will?

5How Should We Approach Life?

On the fifth and final day of Life's Big Questions, we'll turn from theorizing about the nature of existence and begin to unpack the practical consequences for how we should live our lives. We'll ask if there's a right way to live, and consider answers from philosophical favorites Nietzsche, Camus, Lucretius — and consider the three main ethical systems for how we should treat other people.

How Should We Approach Life?

Start Answering Life’s Big Questions Today

Enroll today, and by this time next week, you'll understand philosophy's top wisdom, have clarity on exactly which topics interest you, and know the best further reading for continuing your philosophical journey.

Course Reviews

★★★★★  Really well put together

Really well put together. A good resource to fill in gaps on a subject matter that I am interested in. Written in accessible language, the way more philosophy should be. Content was great & well laid out on my iPad. My favorite chapter was the 2nd chapter on if the world around us is ‘real’. It wove together Descartes, Berkeley, Locke, Hume, and Kant so well that it seemed the evolution was predestined.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Jared L. on 24 May 2021

★★★★★  Excellent series

Very positive course experience. Love the format - really nice to have something to look forward to each day with the daily chapters. The themes are discussed in a way that stimulates your interest without overwhelming you with information. Overall an excellent series, and I am sure I will keep returning to the chapters and hopefully doing some of the suggested further reading now my interest has been roused.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Alan M. on 21 May 2021

★★★★★  Great primer

Very glad I found this resource, as philosophy has always interested me but I never get round to finishing the introductory books. I actually finished this as it was a concise and engaging primer on the main topics covered and I feel more motivated to do more reading now, so thanks!

VERIFIED BUYER

  Lynda F. on 12 May 2021

★★★★★  Fantastic starting point

Great daily chapters. All fantastic starting points for learning more about each theme and all the different philosophers. Materials displayed well and the summary questions at the end were really effective for making me think more about the materials.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Carrie W. on 9 May 2021

★★★★★  Powerful - learned a great deal

Really concise and effective. Powerful, actually - I learned a great deal. Loved the daily chapters, materials displayed really well. I really enjoyed this introduction to philosophy and would definitely want to take another of your courses.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Mart W. on 25 April 2021

★★★★★  Comprehensive and engaging

I found this a very comprehensive introduction to philosophy, and it really left no question unanswered or deliberated, but was very engaging to consume - thanks! I'll definitely be recommending it.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Josh B. on 19 April 2021

★★★★★  Just what I was looking for

This was the perfect scope and pacing for what I was looking for as an introduction to philosophy. I was thrown straight in to confront big issues and loved the daily chapters coming through to my inbox each day, which were fun and challenging reads. The questions and further reading at the end of each chapter were great too for making it all stick in my mind and giving me ideas for what to read next. Overall great intro to philosophy. Thanks very much!

VERIFIED BUYER

  Julie S. on 14 April 2021

★★★★★  Excellent materials

Excellent materials, reading and recommendations sent to my inbox over the last week. Each chapter was stimulating and I feel I've learned a lot about philosophy and its history. I'd definitely recommend this course for anyone who like me was interested in philosophy but wasn't sure where to really start.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Rene G. on 12 April 2021

★★★★★  Definitely recommend!

I really enjoyed this course. Just the right amount of material each day on philosophical questions I've always wondered about. Great further reading recommendations too. Thanks very much!

VERIFIED BUYER

  Sam S. on 2 April 2021

★★★★★  Loved it

This was great, thanks. Each day I'd look forward so much to getting stuff through to my inbox and reading it all. Couldn't recommend this more highly as an efficient yet thorough introduction to philosophy!

VERIFIED BUYER

  Darcy T. on 22 March 2021

★★★★★  Brilliant introduction

A brilliant introduction to philosophy, covering thoughts from the greatest thinkers over the last few millennia on questions that continue to rattle minds today. This course is excellent for anyone who has an interest in philosophy, but didn't get to study it at university. I personally have read some books on philosophy, and this course helped solidify some ideas and introduced me to others. Equally, if you haven't read any philosophy, this is the place I wish I had started.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Mark H. on 20 February 2021

★★★★★  Highly recommend

Would highly recommend this if you're interested in some of life's ‘big questions’ or want an introduction to philosophy without having to wade through heavy reference books… the chapters are a well-written, easy-to-read but comprehensive and insightful synopsis of the thoughts of some of history's greatest philosophers. The course poses lots of questions at appropriate points that engaged me to think more about things that, though interesting and meaningful, are often pushed to the back of our minds due to the short-termist and relatively trivial focus of most of our daily lives. Dip your toe into these philosophical waters, you won't regret it!

VERIFIED BUYER

  John M. on 20 February 2021

★★★★★  Very informative

I found this course so refreshing as it is written in an easy to understand style, and raises stimulating questions at the end of each chapter. The philosophy book recommendations are also very well researched and informative. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the ‘big questions’ to sign up to this course.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Jill P. on 20 February 2021

★★★★★  Great intro

I loved philosophy break on Instagram and had read some of the articles but wanted to take the next step. This was perfect because I could read it in my own time and felt I was on a journey toward something great. I feel enlightened and it's led me to explore some of the topics in more detail. A great intro to philosophy. Would recommend.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Florence R. on 19 February 2021

★★★★★  Beautiful content

Great content packaged in beautiful, compelling chapters that are very interesting and easy to consume. Thanks!

VERIFIED BUYER

  Sian Y. on 19 February 2021

★★★★★  My brain hurts

Some of the stuff in this course seriously blew my mind! These are such interesting questions and the answers are challenging but presented in really easy-to-understand and engaging ways. Great course thank you.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Carter T. on 19 February 2021

★★★★★  Challenging but fascinating

I was looking for something to extend my understanding beyond casual google searches and occasional journal articles. I found the course challenging, but feel much more confident to approach more complex philosophical texts now. Thank you.

VERIFIED BUYER

  Tim D. on 19 February 2021

★★★★★  Great stuff

This was such a great way to consider the ‘big questions’. Quicker and easier to read than a book because it's broken down into daily chapters, but just as eye-opening. Great stuff Philosophy Break!

VERIFIED BUYER

  George N. on 18 February 2021

★★★★★  Perfect introduction

Loved this course! I've always had an interest in philosophy but the big books scare me a bit, so this course was the perfect way to ease me in. It was still challenging... but I could take it at my own pace after it arrived straight into my inbox and I could go back any time to revisit content that challenged me. Can't wait for the next course. Thank you Philosophy Break!

VERIFIED BUYER

  Sophie D. on 18 February 2021

Learn Philosophy's Best Answers in Less than a Week

Enroll today, and by this time next week, you'll understand philosophy's top wisdom, have clarity on exactly which topics interest you, and know the best further reading for continuing your philosophical journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this course for?

This is for anyone curious about why we are here, the nature of existence, and how we should spend our lives. You may have read some philosophy, or you may have never engaged with the subject before: either way, we've distilled philosophy's best answers so you can quickly approach life's nagging questions and anxieties in an accessible, organized fashion, and efficiently learn some of the best wisdom from history.

How long does it take to do the course?

The course is delivered over five days, with a new question considered each day. Each day's materials take about 30 minutes to read through, with an extra fifteen or so minutes recommended for reflection. You have access to course materials forever, so don't worry if you miss a day — you can take the course at your own pace.

How is the course delivered?

Course materials are delivered directly to your email inbox each day over five days. They are optimized for easy reading on any device — be it desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile — and are even printable, so you can consume them however you like.

What if I miss a day?

If over the five days of the course you miss a day, don't worry — you'll have access to course materials forever, and can come back to anything at any time and take everything at your own pace.

Who wrote the course?

This course is brought to you by Philosophy Break, a self-funded social enterprise dedicated to getting more people engaged with philosophy. Course content is put together by the founder of Philosophy Break, Jack Maden, who received an MA in Philosophy from the University of Southampton in 2014, and has been producing educational resources and writing about philosophy ever since. Having obtained great value researching philosophy at postgraduate level, Jack wanted to share the subject's riches with a wider audience, and created Philosophy Break in 2018. This course is the result of years of research and refinement to make philosophy's profound and important wisdom as relevant, interesting, and engaging to today's digital world as possible.

Where do profits from the course go?

Philosophy Break is a self-funded social enterprise, so we put all proceeds straight back into funding our mission of engaging more people with philosophy. By purchasing a course, you help support us on that mission.

Have a question not answered here? Simply drop us an email, and we'll be happy to answer!

It's Time to Begin Your Philosophical Journey

Enroll today, and by this time next week, you'll understand philosophy's top wisdom, have clarity on exactly which topics interest you, and know the best further reading for continuing your philosophical journey.