Another Coursera course completed: Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

I finished my second free online Coursera course last week: Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy.

It was a pretty intense and esoteric 8 weeks. Taught by two professors from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München it was not about the philosophy of mathematics. Instead it showed how some areas of philosophy can be made more precise by using mathematical language and techniques.

It’s hard to give simple examples but we identified axioms that indicate whether people are being consistent and logical in their judgment of probabilities, wrote formulae for indicative and subjunctive statements, expressed Bayes theorem and confirmation theory, defined sample metalanguages, used set theory to define possible worlds, and used different voting methods to determine group preferences.


I found it interesting and fun. Brain challenges are enjoyable. And the two professors obviously love the topic in an adorably nerdish way.

I passed, with a 79% grade on my first attempt at the final exam (worked up to 95% in later attempts; we had five). But the course creators admitted the exam is a bit of a formality; the course was to get people interested in the topic.