Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

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(This is a free course offered online beginning November 26th. Sign up at the link below.)

Reasoning is important.  This course will teach you how to do it well.  You will learn how to understand and assess arguments by other people and how to construct good arguments of your own about whatever matters to you.



Course Syllabus

PART I: HOW TO ANALYZE ARGUMENTS (or identify, simplify, and arrange their parts to show how they are connected in a structure)
  • Week One: How to Spot an Argument
  • Week Two: How to Untangle an Argument
  • Week Three: How to Reconstruct an Argument

PART II: HOW TO EVALUATE DEDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS (or determine whether their premises validly imply their conclusions)

  • Week Four: Propositional Logic and Truth Tables
  • Week Five:  Categorical Logic and Syllogisms

PART III: HOW TO EVALUATE INDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS (or determine whether their premises provide enough reason to believe their conclusions)

  • Week Six: What are Inductive Arguments?
  • Week Seven: Causal Reasoning
  • Week Eight:  Probability and Decisions

PART IV:  HOW TO MESS UP ARGUMENTS (or commit common but tempting fallacies)

  • Week Nine:  Fallacies of Vagueness and Ambiguity
  • Week Ten: Fallacies of Relevance and Vacuity
  • Week Eleven: How to Refute an Argument
  • Week Twelve: How to Apply these Methods to Everyday Arguments

Written By: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Ram Neta
continue to source article at coursera.org

14 COMMENTS

  1. Okay Brian-
     
    “…no you didn’t.”
    “Yes, I did.”
    “When?”
    “I did just now.”
    “Well, this isn’t an argument.”
    “Yes it is.”

    Probably the most brilliant sketch ever written.

  2. I would love to take this (sob), but I am leaving for a tropical paradise this Friday (yay). 
    Will have to read AMAP when I get back, if the course is closed.
    EDIT: signed up anyway, I’ll catch up!

  3. I teach college-level classes that are very similar to this one (as far as I can tell from the syllabus posted here, etc.) and I’m very pleased that this class is being offered for free & being publicized on this site. Many of these lessons, skills, and tools are very important and useful for anyone who considers themselves to be a skeptic, a critical thinker, etc. I hope that the course goes well! 

  4. I started this course yesterday, and I’m finding it quite enjoyable and informative. I’ve got 5 other courses I’ve signed up for too.

    I hope soon one day, all education will be standardized, fully on the internet, and available world-wide, so that those who are stuck with korans and Louisiana textbooks as their only source of information could finally gain some real and truthful knowledge.

  5. Ok, not an argument, but an incorrect statement regarding my hopes and opinions? Short of future advances in the field of lie detection, I am unable to argue using proof to show my truthfulness. What can I say? :)

    Hey, wait a minute. My opinions and hopes were not arguments either! This was a surprise quiz, wasn’t it.

  6. Hmmm, I take that back. I think my second paragraph may have been arguing that there are benefits of a standardized, web-based, world wide education system, that the education would be of a higher quality than those run by a religion or religious teachers.

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