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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
2,238 ratings
607 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

FY

Jul 06, 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.

SM

Jun 11, 2020

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 601 Reviews for Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

By Richie P

Dec 22, 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 01, 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 Frank 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 Jaime A

Dec 01, 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 15, 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 Sehresh M

Jun 11, 2020

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.

By Rocio B

May 04, 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 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 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 22, 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.

By RH

Jun 12, 2020

Great content but presentation and structure could be better. Also, length of the course could be a bit shorter. Definitely still recommended for beginners. But refreshers can find another course instead.

By P G

Jul 20, 2017

Useless linguistics and philosophy with no real use in real life. I don't think anyone's life has gotten better by learning this.

By Janet T

Mar 29, 2017

Could not finish the course. I found the course to be boring.

By Amany e i s

Nov 10, 2017

It was really boring

By Andrew S

Jul 30, 2020

This course was a great introduction to the language of argument and critical thinking. It was a great workout for my brain; I literally felt my brain getting stronger. I found myself reading op-eds and listening to conversations from a whole new perspective which was great. I can't wait to take the other courses in this series. After taking this course, I can see now that if people were able to understand arguments better and also construct strong arguments of their own, we would be able to to engage in dialogues that really do lead to understanding and compromise in the world. So much of "argument" today is about making others look bad or coming up with the coolest put-down. In the end, this causes more harm than good and prevents us from progressing as a species.

Definitely purchase the accompanying textbook if you can. I found reading the chapters after completing the weekly lectures and quizzes helped to reinforce the material.

By Marius R

Jul 13, 2020

Excellent course indeed. It was informative and instructive from beginning to the very end. There were many good practices I learned in this course I naturally use or follow on a daily basis. The course described not only how to use the learned concepts and methods but also provided the concise explanations through series of examples of why a better understanding of arguments is important. Special thanks go to the two professors who diligently put together the materials of this course. Clear, crisp and straight-forward explanations from Prof. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. It is delightful to listen. It juts is. Although I am facing every day very tight schedule, it was a pleasure to listen almost every evening this course for the last couple of weeks.

I am really looking forward to get more insights on this field by taking next courses on Think Again series.

By Ahmad N B M S

May 18, 2020

I enjoyed this course. The content of the lectures is thought-provoking. The quizzes also reflect the topics covered in the lecture. The usage of discussion forums is also apt as it allows the students to learn from each other and seek insight from other perspectives.

This course has also helped me to be more critical of the arguments that I come across and not to easily believe anything that I read without proper thought. I can apply the materials that I have learnt in my daily life, as a researcher, when I analyse the arguments brought forth in academic papers. Overall, I look forward to the subsequent courses in this series. I would definitely recommend this course to my friends.

By Sandra Z C

Oct 17, 2020

It was so good!! Although some of the lectures were pretty dense and I needed to take small breaks to process every piece of new information, it all was very digestible. The teacher takes your hand and guides you through all the topics and the tasks, putting attention in every detail we need to successfully understand the content. And you can even go back to the videos to reassure your understanding about things you still might have doubts about. I personally did not use the tool to save notes (not much, at least) during the lectures because I take my notes manually, but that's a great option for those who don't have much time to take notes traditionally. a 10/10.