Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies
Duke University
Coursera
list 4 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
language Subtitles : Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese
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timer 8 hours in total

About the content

How to Avoid Fallacies Think Again: How to Reason and Argue Reasoning is important. This series of four short courses will teach you how to do it well. 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. We will discuss 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. Courses at a Glance: All four courses in this series are offered through sessions which run every four weeks. We suggest sticking to the weekly schedule to the best of your ability. If for whatever reason you fall behind, feel free to re-enroll in the next session.We also suggest that you start each course close to the beginning of a month in order to increase the number of peers in the discussion forums who are working on the same material as you are. While each course can be taken independently, we suggest you take the four courses in order. Course 1 - Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments Course 2 - Think Again II: How to Reason Deductively Course 3 - Think Again III: How to Reason Inductively Course 4 - Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies About This Course in the Series: We encounter fallacies almost everywhere we look. Politicians, salespeople, and children commonly use fallacies in order to get us to think what they want us to think. Think Again: Fallacies will show how to identify and avoid many of the fallacies that people use to get us to think the way they want us to think. In this course, you will learn about fallacies. Fallacies are arguments that suffer from one or more common but avoidable defects: equivocation, circularity, vagueness, etc. It’s important to learn about fallacies so that you can recognize them when you see them, and not be fooled by them. It’s also important to learn about fallacies so that you avoid making fallacious arguments yourself. Suggested Readings Students who want more detailed explanations or additional exercises or who want to explore these topics in more depth should consult Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic, Ninth Edition, Concise, Chapters 13-17, by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Robert Fogelin. Course Format Each week will be divided into multiple video segments that can be viewed separately or in groups. There will be short ungraded quizzes after each segment (to check comprehension) and a longer graded quiz at the end of the course.

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Syllabus

  • Week 1 - Welcome to the Course

    Welcome to Think Again: How to Avoid Fallacies! This course is the fourth in a series of four courses jointly titled Think Again: How to Reason and Argue. We are excited that you are taking this course, and we hope that you will take all fo...

  • Week 1 - Fallacies of Unclarity

    CONTENT: In this week's material we will describes two phenomena that are both common and useful in the languages that human beings speak, but both of which give rise to the potential for fallacious reasoning. A word or phrase is vague when its mean...

  • Week 2 - Fallacies of Relevance

    CONTENT: This week describes two of the most common fallacies that people make: ad hominem fallacies and appeals to authority. Part of what makes these fallacies so common, and so difficult to avoid, is that many ad hominem arguments, and many appe...

  • Week 2 - Fallacies of Vacuity and Circularity

    CONTENT: Now we will describe another common set of fallacies: fallacies that occur when an argument makes no progress from its premises to its conclusion. Sometimes, arguments make no progress because the conclusion is already contained in the pre...

  • Week 3 - Refutation: Its Varieties and PItfalls

    CONTENT: This week we will teach you various strategies for refuting a fallacious argument. To refute an argument is to show that the argument is unsuccessful. Even if you are able to identify a fallacious argument as a fallacy, you might still not...

  • Week 4 - Catch-Up and Final Quiz

    This week gives you time to catch up and review, because we realize that the previous weeks include a great deal of challenging material. It will also be provide enough time to take the final quiz as often as you want, with different questions each time.

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Intructors

Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Professor
Philosophy

Dr. Ram Neta
Professor
Philosophy

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Content designer

Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.
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Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

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This series has been quite brilliant. These lectures totally changed the way I formulate my arguments and also help me identify fallacies of arguments of others and mine as well. Overall I strongly recommend this course as well as the entire Think Again series.

Published on December 12, 2017
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on the December 12, 2017
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This series has been quite brilliant. These lectures totally changed the way I formulate my arguments and also help me identify fallacies of arguments of others and mine as well. Overall I strongly recommend this course as well as the entire Think Again series.

on the September 25, 2017
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This course has been incredible and more than anything because of the energy put by the instructors, I truly thank you for helping the world to become a better place to live. from Colombia, Luis.

on the August 28, 2017
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amazing course and amazing way of teaching it. it was a very important knowledge to have especially in this time of life where fallacies surround us everywhere

on the May 30, 2017
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This course will be immensely helpful in structuring my thoughts in a logical and manner by addressing pertinent material and avoiding fallacy traps. Thank you so much!!!

on the May 1, 2017
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This was a nice course. Covers many fallacies in detail. Practice exercises are good. More fallacies could have been covered though. Overall, I did love the course.