Reasoning is important. This course will teach you how to do it
well. You will learn some simple but vital rules to follow in thinking
about any topic at all and some 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.
PART I: HOW TO ANALYZE ARGUMENTS
Week 1: How to Spot an Argument
Week 2: How to Untangle an Argument
Week 3: How to Reconstruct an Argument
Quiz #1: At the end of Week 3, students will take their first quiz.
PART II: HOW TO EVALUATE DEDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS
Week 4: Propositional Logic and Truth Tables
Week 5: Categorical Logic and Syllogisms
Week 6: Representing Information
Quiz #2: At the end of Week 6, students will take their second quiz.
PART III: HOW TO EVALUATE INDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS
Week 7: Inductive Arguments
Week 8: Causal Reasoning
Week 9: Chance and Choice
Quiz #3: At the end of Week 9, students will take their third quiz.
PART IV: HOW TO MESS UP ARGUMENTS
Week 10: Fallacies of Unclarity
Week 11: Fallacies of Relevance and of Vacuity
Week 12: Refutation
Quiz #4: At the end of Week 12, students will take their fourth quiz.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Ram Neta