What is effective reasoning? And how can it be done persuasively? These questions have been asked for thousands of years, yet some of the best thinking on reasoning and argumentation is recent and represents a break from the past.
These 24 engaging lectures teach you how to reason, how to persuade others that what you think is right, and how to judge and answer the arguments of others - and how they will judge yours. Professor Zarefsky makes argumentation accessible and familiar by breaking it into five easy-to-understand components: The tools of formal logic, while essential and even definitive for mathematics and programming computers, are inadequate to decide most controversial issues.
This course shows more useful approaches. Arguments can be divided into three parts: a claim, evidence, and an inference linking the evidence to the claim. All arguments fall into a handful of distinctive categories, and the same issues are at stake each time one of these distinctive patterns occurs. Three kinds of evidence can be advanced to prove an argument that something is true: objective data, social consensus, and personal credibility. There are six kinds of inference that link evidence to a claim: example, cause, sign, analogy, narrative, and form. How to use and challenge each is explained.
Along the way, you'll look at numerous actual controversies with a perspective that allows you to see the structure of all disputes. In this way, argument becomes an exchange, not just a flurry of words.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses
Clear, concise, informative
Understanding logical fallacies.
This is an excellent course to take. Interesting right the way through and very dense on content. Argumentation is a pastime of mine, and although I have read much about it, I have never taken any kind of structured course on the subject. These lectures opened up an understanding of the processes, the nomenclature and the method to me on a larger scale than I knew. Very helpful, Already I am applying this new understanding to my every day life, and that's not just in winning arguments with my spouse ;)
specifically for improving your Personal performance in your own argumentation. Helpful, but it was not designed for this purpose. I plan on listening again while preparing formal arguments on topics and then using the examples from famous speeches to help me better construct my argument. What I love about this course, and most of The Great Courses for that matter, is the intellectual breadth of the teachers. However, because they're scholarly teachers, rather than public speakers, they're often kind of dry and boring. Anyhow if an in - depth study on all the ways an argument can be constructed then you will not be disappointed.
I enjoy sci fi, fantasy, science, and technology. I mix it up with some classics once in a while so I can pretend to have some culture :)
These lectures started to lose me a bit when they equated valid and sound arguments and used the words synonymously.
Professor Zarefsky has a very interesting voice and he uses this fine voice to draw you into the covets he discusses . I enjoyed listening to him very much.
It should definitely be more advance and more details. Most of the first half is spent defining things that should either be already very familiar, or at least easy to learn for yourself if you have ever so much as looked at a Youtube comments argument. Many features of arguments are defined by name, but this isn't very helpful other than maybe offering a way to visually break down arguments.
He has a great voice that is easy to understand, and maybe this is something common in lectures in general, but he overemphasizes meaningless points or simple sentences. Let's say that if this were a book written as it was performed here, there would be exclamation points after almost every sentence.
Full disclosure - I am removing this from my library at around 75% of the way through. I will trust it becomes more advanced, but I've spent too much time on this particular audiobook and that amount of time will not be enough to cover what I want to hear anyway. That 3 hrs or so will be better spent on something else.
This is truly a "great" course. It is well done, thoughtful, researched, and informative. Zarefsky is great and easy to listen to. I've done this course twice and will likely return to it again at some point.
More down to earth, practical application. It was intended for intellectual study not practical application. To much information linguistics.
Not really no
I would have him rewrite
"Noticeably improved my rational thinking skills"
This lecturer is fantastic. He's passionate, warm, likeable and competent. His demeanour carried me through some of the more complicated bits.
As far as the content goes:
The course breaks down the components of logic and argumentation and makes the listener familiar with them. Then it demonstrates logic and augmentation of some famous political debates. In doing so through repetition and exposure I felt the content was tedious and challenging at times, sometimes I was just getting through it, but afterwards I am shocked at my skills and ability to cut to the heart of arguments I come across and challenge claims and logic. This has benefited me in all areas as strength of logic is valued in most areas. I think this is a fantastic tool for learning and wished I'd come across it years ago.
The content and lecturer are outstanding and the work 'The Great Courses' do is wonderful for someone like myself who has no time to read and dyslexia but is still very fanatical about learning. However, one still has to endure the embarrassingly pretentious classical trumpet outbursts and audience clapping sound bytes at the beginning of every lecture! Also I feel that any lecture series that names itself 'The Great Courses' can't be that great. It's all transparently socially aspiring and an appeal to the grandiosity of the archetypal university which falls flat as insincere, arrogant and pompous. Further, judging by the reviews of many other listeners of their lectures on audible there are very few who these tactics have the desired affect on. However this doesn't invalidate the courses that have to be examined on a case by case basis and this pomposity is a small price to pay for the content. I mention it here more to change 'The Great Courses' approach and let off some steam.
"excellent and informative course"
very good and clear presentation style, useful examples and the explanation of the subject was thorough and well structured
Report Inappropriate Content