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Sep 22, 2023
Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments by Duke University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Duke University

Reasoning is important. Think Again course promises to teach you how to reason and argue well and in an effective manner. Basically, it is structured as a series of four short courses that explore the logic underlying arguments, how arguments are constructed and deconstructed, and how to identify and evaluate arguments and what makes a good argument.

You will learn simple but vital rules to follow in thinking about any topic at all and common and tempting mistakes to avoid in reasoning. You will be taught how to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments by other people (including politicians, used car salesmen, and teachers) and how to construct arguments of your own in order to help you decide what to believe or what to do. These skills will be useful in dealing with whatever matters most to you.

This is not a typical course in logic. But, has a much different focus as it attempts to teach how one could evaluate arguments in everyday contexts. The syllabus explores the following in four distinct parts:

  • Analyzing arguments
  • Deductive arguments
  • Inductive arguments
  • Fallacies and refutations

All the four courses are instructed by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, and Ram Neta, Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The humorous and friendly delivery style of the professors is very well liked by the students.

The courses are delivered as 10-15 minutes micro-lectures. Multiple choice exercises follow each lecture for students to check their understanding. Several additional reading notes are also provided for students who wish to explore the topics in more depth. Longer graded quizzes are included at the end of each course.

This is a very engaging and applicable course, and presented with 100% efficacy. It serves people working or studying in a wide range of fields pretty well. Regardless your job or location, the information, tools and techniques taught in the course will help you to reason in everyday life.

Key Highlights

  • Gain important skills that will be useful to you in deciding what to believe and what to do in all areas of your life
  • Understand how to determine whether an argument is valid or not
  • Explore the difference between deductive and inductive arguments and logical fallacies
  • Effective for people studying or working in any field

Duration : Approx. 16 hours

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