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Back to Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments by Duke University

4.6
stars
2,623 ratings
711 reviews

About the Course

In this course, you will learn what an argument is. The definition of argument will enable you to identify when speakers are giving arguments and when they are not. Next, you 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 adding suppressed premises. By the end of this course, you will be better able to understand and appreciate arguments that you 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....

Top reviews

AA
Oct 10, 2016

Very good course, made me really think again. The professor is very clear on his explanations and he also made the course smooth and funny, which helped on the learning process. Highly recommended!

FY
Jul 5, 2018

I found this course very challenging as I find critical thinking very difficult. However this course was extremely rewarding and I will be taking the other three modules in the Think Again series.

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26 - 50 of 704 Reviews for Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

By Patricia S

Dec 9, 2020

Can't recommend this course. Prof posted homophobic question on discussion boards. I complained to Coursera they did nothing. Complained to Duke University and the question was removed. Neither Coursera or Duke apologized for this. Very badly handled by Coursera.

By Mukund G

Aug 28, 2019

I was always fascinated by logic and the art of argument. But, I had never had the opportunity to learn the basics of the art. The course has provided me the basics and I hope to build upon it in future. It is a wonderful course. However, I had to face a lot of difficulties in completing the course especially owing to the videos: many of them just freeze in the middle and only the voice of the Professor is there to hear. As such I had to download the videos first along with the transcripts and then listen and answer the in-the-video questions by allowing the content to roll on. I hope this can be taken care of by Coursera. I am thankful to the Professor. He is just brilliant in presenting the course. But, sometimes I felt a few more exercises are necessary in the validity part. I had to struggle to understand the concept and I still feel much is needed. Rest is fine. Thanks again.

By Richie P

Dec 21, 2019

The course provides a lovely approach to this complicated topic. The professor dissects the topic thoroughly with just the right touch of comedy. The discussion forum helps to get students to understand by talking through everything. The quizzes were thoughtful and thorough as introductory comprehension. To those who want to understand more fully, I suggest to suggest practicing on their own. Regardless of you making this statement or not, they will do so if they really want to understand fully. Either way, your approach is wonderful and refreshing coming from someone who took the accelerated summer logic course or "Logic seminar" in community college. You tied up loose ends and allowed for me to understand more fully. Thank you!

By Maksim N

Dec 25, 2016

The decision to divide the original course into four distinctive courses is ingenious! I laud the way the information is presented and illustrated with many diverse examples. I find the professor to be very goofy in a positive way.

I recommend the course to anyone really, especially college students, undergrads to be more precise. I am a philosophy undergrad and I am already familiar with many of the topics, and most humanities students know a thing or two about logic, but students from other disciplines can benefit from this even more.

In dark times such as these, where the likes of Trump rule the world we would benefit more than ever from young people that would judge and rationalize more efficiently!

By Gustavo C B

May 1, 2019

Fantastic course, congratulations. The best of the course is the overall joviality that breaks away with the idea that criticizing an argument necessarily means "fighting". The emphasis on the possibility of the argument being not sound but the conclusion still true, too. Many of my students have watched the video lectures at my suggestion. My assessment is that their written and oral produce improved as a consequence of doing that. It strikes me how intricate the first version of an idea can be, and how painstaking it is to turn it simple. And, further, how much internal resistance appears in one's soul towards expressing one's ideas in their simplest, most transparent (arguably most useful) form.

By Colin A

Nov 18, 2017

This course was exactly what I was looking for - an easy to follow journey through the fundamentals of understanding, evaluating, and constructing arguments. I was surprised how much of what was taught I was already doing intuitively, but having the mechanics explained explicitly has really helped me refine my abilities. Dr Walter Sinnott-Armstrong's light-hearted approach to what could potentially be a very dry subject was also very helpful and very welcome. Congratulations to Dr Sinnott-Armstrong and the team at Duke University for putting together such a great course - I really appreciate it.

By Francisco V

Jul 10, 2017

This is a course that everyone should take. We all argue or deliberate with others, but not many do it well. This course helps us to better present our own arguments and to better understand the arguments of others. Also, a great teaching point for me is: we can reconstruct arguments that have "suppressed" premises, so we can understand the reasoning path of the other person. Why is this so important? Once we have a better understanding of the other person's arguments and reasons, we can use this to reach to a better agreement. Plus, the faculty delivers the class in a fun and interesting way.

By Tenzin N

Aug 26, 2020

I would like to thank Professor Armstrong and Professor Neta for building this very interesting course which I "assure" (assuring term!) that everyone who took the course would have immensely had fun and learned alot.

To those out there deciding to take it; I would say "Go for it". Not only will you learn the concepts of the course but you will be able to be rational while your on conversation with anyone or while having arguments. You would learn to play or use words that you have known but were not aware of it.

THANK YOU!

By Kamlesh N

Aug 17, 2016

I am 3 weeks into the course and can categorically say that it one of the best courses I have ever taken. Besides the professor's impeccable knowledge, his amazing command over fluid teaching is admirable. I really like the content where the learners are taught how to dissect (and construct) an argument for a broad range of areas where they might find its use.

People who are thinking of taking it, make sure you commit at least 5 hours every week. Absorb and enjoy!

By J A

Dec 1, 2019

Excellent course to refresh your thinking skills and make them sharper. The professor, Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, makes it really engaging and enjoyable with his continuous jokes and funny faces and performance. I wish I had learned this in this way when I was in high school. A must-do-course in this era of post-truth, fake news, and really bad political debate!

By Michael P

Apr 14, 2020

This is the first class I've taken on Coursera. I enjoyed the subject matter and the way Prof. Sinnot-Armstrong kept it light. I found the workload to be more than manageable each week, allowing me to work at my own pace while also keeping it structured. I will absolutely be taking the other installations of the Think Again courses.

By Teresa M

Aug 22, 2021

English is my second language. It is not easy for me to understand "arguments". I learned how to communicate different points of view without arguing or fighting. This course was fun. It makes me feel more confident when I talk to others. Thanks!

By Anish K S

Sep 19, 2021

Thanks a lot, it was awesome journey with coursera. This course teaches how to closely engage with a text, especially those students who pursue their philosophical studies must take this course.

By Rocio B

May 4, 2020

Great class. Super insightful and the professor was knowledgable and entertaining. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in being able to better formulate arguments.

By Jordan S

Aug 27, 2021

I​nsightful and pracitical. In a time when information are abundant, this course provides a different lens to make sense in the world.

By B P

Feb 15, 2020

I think the instructors were great. There could be better explanation in the final chapter. IT was really hard.

By WJ T

Oct 20, 2019

Definitely very informative. Arguments aren't always negative and this can help people with their communications

By Kristine

Jan 19, 2020

Very useful, a must for anyone whose daily job involves any amount of argumentation and analysis.

By Jaspal S K

Sep 13, 2021

Tough one but helps me master comprehension better and have logical approach to persuasion

By Erickson T

Sep 15, 2021

Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn. More power and blessing.

By Haran S

Jul 8, 2020

The Professor is very entertaining and the lectures are very clearly explained. The explanations for the practice quiz answers are also very helpful. The only minor quibble is that some of the points in the lectures can be laboured at times. Perhaps one improvement would be to devise a quiz where we are let loose on a passage to perform close analysis (without the aid of multiple choice prompts).

By Bảo N L H

Aug 25, 2021

A great introduction at the beginning, but it gets more complex real quick in my opinion. The course is a great preparation for those who are learning towards critical reading and writing at university.

By Rahul M P

Jul 14, 2019

This course is very helpful in everyday life, as not everyone pays attention to what everyone else is talking, but those who have taken this course can really understand what they mean.

By Marne L P

Apr 17, 2020

The course material is broadly applicable: anyone who wants to persuade or explain, or anyone who needs to decide whether to agree with someone else about a particular point. The best courses include access to real-time feedback, at least from teaching aides, if not from the course leaders. Unfortunately in this course students are not able to contact the course leaders directly, and I did not see responses to any teaching aides, despite asking for answers. Thus I was unable to truly understand all of the material in depth, because some of my questions went unanswered. Nor do the course leaders make more examples with suggested answers and explanations available. These major flaws in the course pushed my rating down to 3 stars, despite the otherwise excellent content. I would have been even more disappointed had I not been able to get the certificate for free (Thank you Course Central!)

By Carl T

Nov 21, 2016

An excellent course for students that require, or want intricate detail on the subject. Not really designed for casual interest, more likely for the philosophy major. Presented very clearly and the discussions and material were interesting. Would have been four stars but the final quiz was excessively difficult.