First off, let me preface this review by saying I was already familiar with Steven Novella through his podcast, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. ..Show More »/> When I heard he had this series of lectures available on Audible, I was quite excited!
I was hoping for a clear, detailed and thorough treatment of Critical Thinking - and Novella delivers in spades, covering topic after topic with a treatment that is brisk, peppered with examples, constructed in a logical and understandable manner and order, and delivered eloquently.
The content is exactly what is says on the tin: if you are interested in Critical Thinking, in knowing how you think and how TO think -- there is no fat here. Logical fallacies and cognitive biases are examined, illustrated and explained.
I would caution the potential listener that this is a series of lectures on a specific subject; I enjoyed it immensely because I happen to be interested in the topic. If I didn't have that interest or I was expecting more of a narrative-type production, I think I would be disappointed.
A further caution: if you have a set of "alternative beliefs", prepare to be challenged! Examine the unfavorable reviews to see this side of things.
However -- and in summary -- if you desire to develop your Critical Thinking skills, to build the sharpest reasoning possible for yourself, or just to explore a scientific approach to understanding how your brain plays tricks on itself, then I give this work the highest recommendation!
Interesting Lectures with a Misleading Description
The lectures are well rehearsed, excellently paced, and fascinating. However, the topic of the lectures does not match the product's description.<..Show More »br/> The lectures are a combination of popular psychology theory and advice on conflict resolution, with a heavy emphasis on marital disputes. The scientific content is on the light side.
There is nothing on communicating with strangers or in the workplace.
That being said, the lectures are very interesting and well delivered. If you purchase this audiobook, you will likely be entertained and get a cursory education on a topic which is not discussed in the product description.
This audiobook is a series of lectures looking at history's most memorable speeches. It is a good analysis of those speeches and helps us to understan..Show More »d the elements which combine to make great oratory. He helps us to understand the different strategies that should be used for different purposes. So, for example, Ghandi used 'logos' or logic to prove his point when he was on trial for his life, whilst Martin Luther King appealed to the emotions when he gave his iconic 'I have a dream' speech.
Whilst this analysis is interesting, there is a slight conflict of interests within the book which doesn't work so well. The lecturer is supposedly trying to teach us how to be better public speakers, but to this he draws his lessons from speeches made by history's heavyweight orators made at pivotal moments in the World's history, such as Churchill's 'Blood, sweat and tears' speech and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This is slightly comical, as the average listener buying this self-help lecture series will likely do no more than give a best-man speech at a wedding.
Despite this qualm, the audiobook is interesting and worth a listen.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The lecturer is an excellent narrator and sounds very empathetic and understanding. He breaks down the topic into ve..Show More »ry logical lectures, each focused around very useable frameworks. He frequently references outside studies, but doesn't get bogged down in the details, making it relate to the issue at hand. There are some dramatic enactments of examples which are sometimes cheesy, but overall add to the course. This audiobook is good from start to finish (arguably getting better as it goes), rather than many books, where it's one good idea re-hashed 50 times.
When I chose this 'Great Course,' I was under the impression that I would learn the invaluable secrets of a professional storyteller. I quickly figur..Show More »ed out that there are no secrets; I waited hours and hours for the slightest resemblance of a tidbit of insightful knowledge, and it turns out that there weren't any at all to be found. I can think of a multitude of questions that I would've liked answered regarding the process of becoming a compelling storyteller, but instead, the information given in this audiobook was too simple. It's not that this 'Course' is developed for an elementary-level learner, but there wasn't any knowledge departed that wasn't already known from common sense. The majority of the audiobook is spent on the narrator telling stories about people she knows; and when the lessons concluded, I was left trying to understand the significance of the story and the lesson derived from it. There are no lessons in this Course, only a deluge of stories that the narrator thinks are interesting and which bear no significance to the 'lessons' given. Don't waste your time on this audiobook.
I would recommend this audiobook because it was both highly informative and entertaining at the same time. Prof. Anne Curzan has indeed made a great s..Show More »eries of lessons on this topic. But since I have studied some linguistics before, I found the content a little too basic for my needs. It did, however, provide me with some much needed repetition.
I love The Great Courses, and this new title has been no exception. I'm a veteran negotiator myself, and studied negotiation many years ago in graduat..Show More »e school, so I wasn't sure if listening to this would add anything new. Of course I should not have underestimated The Great Courses.