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Tools of Thinking By James Hall, The Great Courses

  • Narrated by: James Hall
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Release date: 07-08-13

Tools of Thinking AudioBook Summary

Everyone has to think in order to function in the world, but what is the best way to reason effectively in your pursuit of reliable beliefs and useful knowledge? What is the best way to prove a case, create a rule, solve a problem, justify an idea, invent a hypothesis, or evaluate an argument? In short, what is the best way to think? 

Professor Hall helps you cut through deception and faulty reasoning in these 24 humorous, clear, and interesting lectures, offering a friendly but intellectually rigorous approach to the problem of thinking. Among the topics you’ll learn about are: 

  • Deduction (this form of reasoning reaches a conclusion based on a set of premises; if the premises are true, then the conclusion necessarily follows)
  • Induction (less ironclad than deduction, this approach surveys the evidence and then generalizes an explanation to account for it; the conclusion may be probable, but it is not certain)
  • Syllogism (this simple but powerful deductive argument offers two premises and a conclusion, e.g., “All Greeks are mortals. All Athenians are Greeks. Therefore, all Athenians are mortals.”)
  • Dialectic (a question-and-answer dialogue, called dialectic, is valuable for uncovering first principles)
  • Venn diagrams (this technique uses overlapping circles to represent different classes of objects or ideas in order to clarify a syllogism)

Some of the greatest philosophers who ever lived have used these tools to separate ideas that make sense from those that don’t. Now you, too, can think more clearly, making better lives for ourselves and for those to come. 

File Size: 468.89 MB

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