Emotions: a Philosophical Introduction

Emotions are the backbone of social activities as well as they drive the cognitive processes of several living entities. This course tries to elucidate the controversial nature of emotions and their evolutionary meaning. Several animals, including humans, have emotions but…what about machines? This is a course to feel and think about.

About The Course

The course is designed to cover a wide range of interests about the nature of emotional events. The biological emergence of emotional states, the relationship between emotions and consciousness, the deep interactions between cognitive and emotional processes, the bodily location of emotions are, among others, some of the main topics covered by this course. The sources of the course come from several research fields such as Philosophy, Neurology, Psychology, Anthropology, Robotics, or AI, among others. Thanks to a non-specialized use of vocabulary, the ideas explained will be easily assimilated by the audience. Anyhow general audiences from any academic specialization are welcome. At the end of the course, the student should be able to analyze critically and to synthesize information on emotions obtained by reading academic papers or specialized monographs, as well as that valuable information distributed through the Internet.
At the end of the course:
a) the student should be able to contribute to daily-life debates making significant and precise conceptual contributions in contexts of emotional analysis;
b) the student should be able to relate concepts and knowledge among different areas of contemporary philosophical research related to the bonds between emotions, culture and nature. She/he must be able to observe epistemic, ethical and political implications of these dependencies;
c) the student should be able to identify and describe relevant theoretical elements of contemporary research on emotions;
d) the student should be able to evaluate the implication for the human nature of the influence of emotional forces that operate intensively today in human societies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the course for?
This course is for those having an open-minded attitude towards new information and ideas and for those wishing to know more about emotions, their nature and their evolutionary meaning.


Will I be awarded a certificate on completing the course?
Yes, students who successfully finish the course (equal or greater than 50%) will receive a certificate signed by the MOOC instructor. This certificate does not grant credits in any academic programme in the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona or other University.


Will the course offer Signature Track? 
Yes. For further information on this, please consult Signature Track. It is strongly recommended to read carefully the related information if you are interested in choosing the Signature Track.


Does the Signature Track certificate provides official recognition of credits in any learning programme of the Autonoma University of Barcelona?
No, it doesn't. The signature-track process only confirms the identity of the person who passed the course. 


What resources will I need for the course?
The course can be followed using the materials provided. Further complementary materials will be presented during the course. 

You will only need to have a webcam, only if you are considering choosing the Signature Track option.

Recommended Background

No academic bakcground is required to take the course. However, there is a desiderata: to have an open-minded attitude towards new information and ideas.