By taking Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking, you will improve your ability to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments by other people (including politicians, used car salesmen, and teachers) and also to construct arguments of your own to convince others and to help you decide what to believe or do. This specialization introduces general standards of good reasoning and offers tools to improve your critical thinking skills. These skills will help you determine when an argument is being given, its crucial parts, and what it assumes implicitly. You will also learn how to apply deductive and inductive standards for assessing arguments and how to detect and avoid fallacies.
Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Professor Duke University
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Chauncey Stillman’s Professor of Practical Ethics in the Philosophy Department and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and Core Faculty in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. He has served as vice-chair of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association and co-director of the MacArthur Project on Law and Neuroscience. He has published books on moral theory, philosophy of religion, theory of knowledge, and informal logic. His current research focuses on ways psychology and neuroscience can illuminate moral beliefs and responsibility. He has regularly taught a course on the reasoning for three decades.
Dr. Ram Neta
Professor Duke University
Ram Neta is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published dozens of articles on various topics in epistemology, including the nature and extent of our knowledge, the constraints that rationality imposes on our states of confidence, the sorts of considerations that can serve as evidence for us, and how arguments for skepticism can come to seem compelling. He has also edited several recent and forthcoming volumes in epistemology. His current research focuses on understanding how epistemic constraints on an animal’s representational states can be determined by the essential properties of the species to which the animal belongs.
I took this specialization while working directly across the street from Duke University West Campus. Dr. Walter Sinnott Armstrong is someone I would occasionally run into at Whole Foods Market on Broad Street in Durham, NC. I found these courses intellectually challenging and invigorating. Both professors are gifted lecturers using humor to keep the dry subject matter areas interesting. After taking Introduction to Logic and Criticisms, I could identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments more effectively. The benefits of this specialization were realized immediately within my primary financial service career, managing managers and personnel teams and working with clients.
Aug 1, 2021
Very good course and a very humorous professor! Every day we are facing so much propaganda and misleading news from the media, if you do not know how to draw valid and sound arguments and make good reasoning, it will be easy for you to be misled. Taking this course helps you to distinguish good arguments from bad ones, therefore, I strongly recommend everyone study this course if you want to be an independent and critical thinker!
By Mauri S G
Mar 31, 2019
I loved this course. The professor is fun and clear and intelligent; the course is complex enough to hold interest and applicable enough to every day life that it will always be useful to each and every person. I personally am a retired person living in “the sticks” of the south of France (Provence) with little access to university learning. I will forever be grateful to Coursera for bringing advanced learning into my living room!!! Thanks to Coursera and to Professor (Doctor) Walter Sinnott-Armstrong…
Sep 21, 2020
The entire course was so well planned and explained! I’m so grateful to have come across the opportunity to learn from Prof. Walter and Prof. Ram. Apart from the compelling course content that I plan to exercise in all kinds of situations to come, I would like to applaud the efforts that were taken to make this course so engaging and amicable. Totally recommend taking all 4 courses.
This will be one of my best learning experiences!