No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever.
These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life. By immersing yourself in the science of cognitive biases and critical thinking, and by learning how to think about thinking (a practice known as metacognition), you'll gain concrete lessons for doing so more critically, more intelligently, and more successfully.
The key to successful critical thinking lies in understanding the neuroscience behind how our thinking works - and goes wrong; avoiding common pitfalls and errors in thinking, such as logical fallacies and biases; and knowing how to distinguish good science from pseudoscience. Professor Novella tackles these issues and more, exploring how the (often unfamiliar) ways in which our brains are hardwired can distract and prevent us from getting to the truth of a particular matter.
Along the way, he provides you with a critical toolbox that you can use to better assess the quality of information. Even though the world is becoming more and more saturated information, you can take the initiative and become better prepared to make sense of it all with this intriguing course.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
Some interesting and informative lecture material but mostly a very uninteresting shotgun approach to critical thinking. I found myself getting bored with it and the applause before and after lectures is laughable as it is obvious there is no actual audience.
I found this narrator a tough listen.
I would describe this as 11 hours and 56 minutes of talking points, with most of the underlying supporting research and references left out. You will get a lot of good cocktail party conversation out of this, but you will have to do your own research if you are going to make any kind of informed judgment as to the potential validity of what is being presented.
The title of this presentation is way off the mark. If you are looking for Effective Communication Skills technique, you need to look elsewhere.
This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to and my favourite so far of The Great Courses
Professor Novella is easy to listen to, simplifies topics so they are understandable without 'dumbing it down' for his audience.
Everyone should to listen to this and use these tools of critical thinking in everyday life.
The lectures were illuminating, very well paced with fascinating content. As someone living in India I may well be in the midst of one of the largest populations with a distinct absence of critical thinking and the ability access knowledge of this nature has been immensely gratifying. I highly recommend listening to other wonderful lectures such as understanding the mysteries of human behaviour in sequence with this series as they overlap on many points, reinforcing their messages without repeating each other
It's far from a "great course" however the information covered was an excellent starting point for anyone interested in formal logic or increasing their reasoning skill set.
If you've ever listened to the Skeptics Guide podcast - and you definitely should- this is a perfect way to get a solid basis for the types of conversations commonly breached in their episodes.
In short, Steven Novella gives us an overview to the question: how do we determine truth and falsehood, and how does science help us overcome our inherent blindness in that endeavor?
Starting with individual illusions, then moving on to social phenomena such as mass delusions, Novella then gets to the meat of his lectures with the basis of logic, fallacies, and an introduction to the scientific method.
Much of this information would be touched on in your average high school/undergrad science class: What is the scientific method? What determines a good source? But usually these philosophical underpinnings to science are glanced over during syllabus week, and every student of course is just worrying about the curriculum for the upcoming weeks. The real value to this audiobook is that we get a hard look at what it means to be a critical thinker, and where that critical thinking is weakest in our everyday lives.
If you've ever been in discussion with a friend, who you just KNOW is wrong, but you can't quite pin down how...or if you dont know how to parse your own opinions in a rational way...if you have a desire to find intellectual honesty in a complicated world...I highly recommend this lecture series.
Because of the way we evolved over the ages, be it millions of years or something much shorter, our minds developed shortcuts so we could survive out in the world. Now that we have, in certain regions and to varying degrees, managed to overcome the most immediate threats to our existence; finding enough to eat while avoiding being eaten. The shortcuts we developed then are not as nearly required as they once were. This course teaches what the shortcuts are (confirmation bias, stereotyping etc.) and steps one can take to avoid them when necessary, and the means to overcome them and see more clearly the trees and the forests of modern day life.
Outstanding! I have had many discussions and arguments with folks that need to hear this book, especially when using social media. Many of the examples are relevant and crucial to understanding the points being made by the professor. Will listen again soon!
I really enjoyed this series of lectures. If you are interested in an academic overview of how we think, make assumptions, fool ourselves and others, and what we can do to make our own view of reality more objective, then this set of lectures will appeal to you also.
"Should be required reading for everyone"
One of those "change your whole world view" audio books. Excellent content and presentation from Steven Novella.
Very highly recommended
"very strong start but undermined in by bias"
Perhaps it cant be. How many of us can be truly objective?
I didnt expect anything different on brain structure and chemistry, so was expecting the a priori conclusion that there is no 'self', even though the explanations given need not be the final word in themselves. Is the cause of a light switching on, the switch itself ?
However for a course that billed itself as critical thinking I expected better when it came to genuine reservations regarding Darwinian Evolution. Why? Because there is no other subject in Science that seems to raise emotions as much as this. Objections are often dismissed simply because of who presents them and invariably assumes that each protestor must necessarily be a Creationist which is not necessarily true (Richard Milton for example described himself as an agnostic). So in such a course this was inevitably going to be a pivotal revealing topic. Yes, the context in which this was discussed was vis-a-vis Creationism, and from this the impression given was simply that there were some gaps that might be explained in the future. Is this not however a case of the very wishful thinking that is criticised earlier on in the course? Also the complaint that the alternative explanation was not scientific compelling is not for me the primary issue but rather the doubts of flaws of Darwinian Evolution expressed in the first place.
I think that the other issue was this course was really heavily centred around the scientific method with a logic overlay, which granted was pointed out at the start. However this precludes approaches such as metaphysics, that does not lend itself to the scientific method but is consistent and no less critical in the application of logic.
No because it will be very dependent on the individual course tutor.
The narration itself was well done.
yes the first section of the book was very good, particularly some of the examples of conspiracy theory. Unfortunately once you see a bias, particularly in this type of course, it then undermines the delivery.
For logic and critical thinking I found D Q McInerney's 'Being Logical : A Guide to Good Thinking, a much smaller but good concise guide.
Importantly for the scientific paradigm Thomas Kuhn's 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions' , Karl Popper's 'The Logic of Scientific Discovery' and yes even Paul Feyerabend's 'Against Method'
"thank you made my life look so boring now"
"secret history o f the world" :-)
enyone else will do
the professor was trying to denounce some myths with not so easy to proof theorys of his, leaving everyting in hands of coincidence.
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