About this Course
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Beginner Level

Approx. 14 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), English, Spanish

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 14 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazilian), English, Spanish

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
15 minutes to complete

Welcome to the Course

<p>Welcome to <b>Think Again: How to Reason Inductively</b>! This course is the third in a series of four courses jointly titled <em>Think Again: How to Reason and Argue</em>. We are excited that you are taking this course, and we hope that you will take all four courses in the series, because there is a great deal of important material to learn.</p><p>In the series as a whole, you learn how to analyze and evaluate arguments and how to avoid common mistakes in reasoning. These important skills will be useful to you in deciding what to believe and what to do in all areas of your life. </p><p>The first part of this course introduces the series and the course. It also clarifies some peculiarities you may find with this course. We encourage you to watch the "<b>Introduction to the Course</b>" video first as it will help you learn more from the materials that come later. </p>...
1 video (Total 5 min), 1 reading
1 reading
Course Logistics (Start Here)10m
6 hours to complete

Inductive Arguments

<p><b>CONTENT</b>: This week begins by distinguishing inductive arguments from deductive arguments. Then we discuss four common forms of inductive argument: generalizations from samples (such as in political polls), applications of generalizations to particular cases (such as in predicting weather on a certain day), inferences to the best explanation (such as in using evidence to determine who committed a crime), and arguments from analogy (such as in identifying the use of one archaeological artifact by comparing it to other artifacts). We will expose the most common mistakes in these kinds of reasoning. Some of the "lectures" this week are a bit experimental (and perhaps weird!), as you will see. We hope that you enjoy them.<p><b>LEARNING OUTCOMES</b>: By the end of this week's material you will be able to do:<ul> <li>distinguish inductive from deductive arguments</li> <li>classify inductive arguments into five kinds</li> <li>identify and evaluate arguments that generalize from samples</li><li>identify and evaluate arguments that apply generalizations to cases</li><li>identify and evaluate inferences to the best explanation by applying standards that good explanations must meet</li><li>identify and evaluate arguments from analogy</li></ul></p><p><b>OPTIONAL READING</b>: If you want more examples or more detailed discussions of these kinds of inductive arguments, we recommend <em>Understanding Arguments, Ninth Edition</em>, Chapters 8 and 9.</p>...
9 videos (Total 129 min), 8 quizzes
9 videos
Generalizations from Samples9m
When are Generalizations Strong?20m
Applying Generalizations17m
Another Example of Applying Generalizations (Optional)16m
Inference to the Best Explanation8m
Which Explanation Is Best?14m
A Student Example of Inference to the Best Explanation8m
Arguments from Analogy18m
8 practice exercises
What Is Induction?24m
Generalizations from Samples10m
When are Generalizations Strong?24m
Applying Generalizations24m
Inference to the Best Explanation20m
Which Explanation Is Best?20m
A Student Example: Inference to the Best Explanation6m
Arguments from Analogy30m
Week
2
4 hours to complete

Causal Reasoning

<p><b>CONTENT</b>: This module will focus on how to decide what causes what. Students will learn how to distinguish necessary conditions from sufficient conditions and how to use data to test hypotheses about what is and what is not a necessary condition or a sufficient condition. Then we will distinguish causation from correlation (or concomitant variation) and explain the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. It is sad that some diners had to die to make this lesson possible, as you will see.</p> <p><b>LEARNING OUTCOMES</b>: By the end of this week’s material you will be able to do: <ul> <li> analyze causal reasoning</li> <li>distinguish necessary from sufficient conditions</li> <li>determine what is necessary or sufficient for what</li> <li>separate causation from correlation</li> </ul> </p> <p><b>OPTIONAL READING</b>: If you want more examples or more detailed discussions of these topics, we recommend <em>Understanding Arguments, Ninth Edition</em>, Chapter 10.</p> ...
9 videos (Total 100 min), 8 quizzes
9 videos
Negative Sufficient Condition Tests9m
Positive Sufficient Condition Tests10m
Negative Necessary Condition Tests4m
Positive Necessary Condition Tests6m
Complex Conditions11m
Correlation Versus Causation20m
Causal Fallacies5m
A Student Example: Causal Reasoning About Chocolate15m
8 practice exercises
Causal Reasoning24m
Negative Sufficient Condition Tests22m
Positive Sufficient Condition Tests6m
Negative Necessary Condition Tests20m
Positive Necessary Condition Tests4m
Complex Conditions18m
Correlation Versus Causation14m
Causal Fallacies8m
Week
3
6 hours to complete

Chance and Choice

<p><b>CONTENT</b>: This week will cover chance and choice—in other words, probability and decision making. Probability is useful for measuring the strength of inductive arguments and also for deciding what to believe and what to do. You will learn about the nature and kinds of probability along with four simple rules for calculating probabilities. An optional honors lecture will then explain Bayes’ theorem and the common mistake of overlooking the base rate. Next we will use probabilities to evaluate decisions by figuring their expected financial value and contrasting financial value with overall value. </p><p><b>LEARNING OUTCOMES</b>: By the end of this week’s material, you will be able to do: <ul><li> solve some classic paradoxes of probability</li><li>apply simple rules of probability</li><li>use Bayes’ theorem to calculate conditional probabilities</li><li>avoid fallacies of probability</li><li>apply probabilities to calculate expected financial values</li><li>distinguish financial value from overall value</li><li>use simple rules to aid decisions under uncertainty</li></ul></p><p><b>OPTIONAL READING</b>: If you want more examples or more detailed discussions of these topics, we recommend<em> Understanding Arguments, Ninth Edition</em>, Chapters 11 and 12 ...
10 videos (Total 117 min), 9 quizzes
10 videos
What Is Probability?8m
Negation2m
Conjunction12m
Disjunction9m
Series6m
Bayes Theorem (Optional)28m
Expected Financial Value13m
Expected Overall Value10m
The Sausage Argument: A Student Argument About Decision Making13m
9 practice exercises
Why Probability Matters8m
What Is Probability?18m
Negation14m
Conjunction30m
Disjunction32m
Series8m
Bayes Theorem (Optional)42m
Expected Financial Value18m
Expected Overall Value10m
Week
4
1 hour to complete

Catch-Up and Final Quiz

<p>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. </p><p>We explain the answers in each exam so that you can learn more and do better when you try the exam again. You may take the quiz as many times as you want in order to learn more and do better, with different questions each time. You will be able to retake the quiz three times every eight hours. You might not need to take more than one version of the exam if you do well enough on your first try. That is up to you. However many versions you take, we hope that all of the exams will provide additional learning experiences. </p>...
1 quiz
1 practice exercise
Final Quizs
4.8
22 ReviewsChevron Right

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started a new career after completing these courses

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got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By DDJun 19th 2018

Perfect course and presentation of material.Very good incorporation of mentors for discusion.Good job!

By SMJun 22nd 2017

This entire series was informative, engaging, and fun, and the thinking skills taught are so valuable.

Instructors

Avatar

Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Professor
Philosophy
Avatar

Dr. Ram Neta

Professor
Philosophy

About Duke University

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....

Frequently Asked Questions

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“I'd like to thank both professors for the course. It was fun, instructive, and I loved the input from people from all over the world, with their different views and backgrounds.”

    

“Somewhere in the first couple weeks of the course, I was ruminating over some concept or perhaps over one of the homework exercises and suddenly it occurred to me, "'Is this what thinking is?" Just to clarify, I come from a thinking family and have thought a lot about various concepts and issues throughout my life and career...but somehow I realized that, even though I seemed to be thinking all the time, I hadn't been doing this type of thinking for quite some time...so, thanks!”

    

“The rapport between Dr. Sinott-Armstrong and Dr. Neta and their senses of humor made the lectures engaging and enjoyable. Their passion for the subject was apparent and they were patient and thorough in their explanations.”



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