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Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies

Coursera · Duke University · 2 HN comments

HN Academy has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention Coursera's "Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies" from Duke University.
Course Description

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.

HN Academy Rankings
Provider Info
This course is offered by Duke University on the Coursera platform.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

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My Coursera profile lists 67 courses, I have completed ~15 of them and with a passing grade ~8 of them. My most favorite one, which for me was the hardest as well, was The Hardware/Software Interface by Gaetano Borriello and Luis Ceze[1]. I also liked Computer Networks[2] even though it's an introductory course, Functional Programming Principles in Scala[3] which is surprisingly easy unlike the follow up course[4], High Performance Scientific Computing[5], Software Security[6] and Cryptography[7] although I prefer Boneh's class. For non-IT related courses I liked Think Again: How to Reason and Argue[8], Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing)[9], Child Nutrition and Cooking[10] and Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity[11].

I often take time to think why I have so many started but not finished courses. Most of them are abandoned on the first week and my assumption is that when I enroll my expectations for the course content and the workload needed are wrong.

Occasionally, I abandon courses because they demand too much time to get something working on linux or because of luck of time. The thing that I noticed about me is that when I get a little behind the schedule then it's almost certainly that I will abandon the course. Additionally, when I try to commit on two courses at the same time then it's certain that I will abandon at least one (usually both).












I couldn't figure out a way to access the contents of the course beyond the syllabus [].

Is anyone aware of an archive of lectures available on coursera or a 3rd-party website?

The course site was closed after the statements of accomplishments were created. Currently, the class archive is only accessible to those who were enrolled. But don't worry, the professors announced that this course will be offered again in August.
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