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Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

Coursera · Duke University · 2 HN comments

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

How to Understand Arguments

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:

When is someone giving an argument instead of just yelling? Which parts of what they say contribute to the argument? Why are they arguing instead of fighting? What are arguments made of? What forms do they take? Think Again: How to Understand Arguments will answer these questions a more.

In this course, you will learn what an argument is. The definition of argument will enable students to identify when speakers are giving arguments and when they are not. Next, we will learn how to break an argument into its essential parts, how to put them in order to reveal their connections, and how to fill in gaps in an argument. By the end of this course, students will be better able to understand and appreciate arguments that they and other people present.

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 1-5, 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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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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Another oddball choice for HN, but the Coursera course Think Again: How to Reason and Argue, by Duke University's Ram Neta and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong [1] is exceptional.

The subject matter covers a staggering breadth of topics, which can be characterised as either (a) fundamentals of philosophical reasoning, or (b) stuff that amateur internet-debaters think they understand but actually don't.

[1] -
Really appreciate the attempt. Thanks! Yet, I don't think that will be an answer.

A very simple example of political speak: Merkel basically said last Sunday: "We can't trust our overseas partners anymore. I've seen that the last few days. We must take our fate in our own hands."

Yet what she meant was: "Trump will let you down. I'm strong enough to defy him. If you want a strong leader that listens, come to me."

Another example is how the G7 fought just about phrasing of a final statement for day and night before. What does the result mean? Who won what? How will that influence decision of other people in the political landscape?

Really curious to learn about that.

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