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Publisher's 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.
©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Douglas on 08-18-13

Wow!

Stunned by the negative review of this wonderful lecture series. I can't imagine anyone halfway versed in metacognition having any problems following this material, supplements or no. Granted, I have done a lot of study in this area and from much more in-depth books than this, but anyone should find this a greatly enlightening book on the process of human thought and logic. I recommend it be read with Novallis' The Deceptive Mind and perhaps Ridgley's Strategic Thinking. Unlike the other reviewer, I have yet to come across a lecture series in The Great Courses that I didn't absolutely love and devour. I wish I could somehow work them into my own classrooms.

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20 of 24 people found this review helpful


By Andreas on 01-25-15

Logically

A bit dry content, but fun to learn non the less. Be ready with pen and paper for most of this course. You will need it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 05-15-15

Excellent Book But ...

Do you think Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World Through Experience and Reason needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Of course: Because how on earth someone could understand this book and have a clear view of the presented ideas without provided a visual aid with all the depicted pictures and diagrams mentioned during the narration.

Any additional comments?

The book is Great! The narration is excellent. I would like to complement Professor James Hall for this excellent book.
However, the publisher of this Audiobook is lame and less than professional. Because how on earth we could understand this book and have a clear view of the presented ideas without provided a visual aid with all the depicted pictures and diagrams mentioned during the narration.

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful


By AGGELOS IOAKIMIDES on 05-10-16

As the lecture is excellent as an audiobook mediocre

The philosophical axis of these lectures is invaluable to anyone but could certainly have been made in the more concentrated way. The tools should have been summarised, a conclusion of the. Worry could have been demonstrated and the value of each brick could have been pronounced for everyday life be for a scientist or someone other than. Definitely has important concepts to pick up but I will use the accompanying documentation for that and not bookmarks within the lectures.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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