Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

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8/10 stars
based on  29 reviews
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Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4390 reviews

Course Description

Reasoning is important.  This course will teach you how to do it well.  You will learn how to understand and assess arguments by other people and how to construct good arguments of your own about whatever matters to you.
Reviews 8/10 stars
29 Reviews for Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

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Greta profile image
Greta profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 6 completed
4 years, 4 months ago
Yes, the pace of this course is rather slow. Yes, the material is presented in a rather repetitive way. Does that make this course bad? Most certainly not. It is a very thorough course on the theory of reasoning and argumentation. It is also a damn good introduction into logic and probability, so this actually makes the course valuable for pretty much everyone who just starts with coursera. Both Professors Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Ram Neta are enthusiastic and quite entertaining. If you do have prior knowledge in logic, probability and a bit of philosophy and you just want a quick overview of Critical Thinking the eponymous and more practically oriented course by the University of Edinburgh might be the better choice for you. But if you require more background information this course is just perfect.
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偉 卓 profile image
偉 卓 profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 7 months ago
t times it was difficult to follow, not because of the teaching methods, but because of my lack of free time. The material offered was really extensive, even the book was available for all willing to learn everything they can from this class. It was indeed the class worth taking.
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Hamideh Iraj profile image
Hamideh Iraj profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 70 reviews
  • 60 completed
1 year, 8 months ago
This course was my first exposure to logic and I am very satisfied that I completed the course. Although the course was very long (twice a six-week MOOC) and sometimes boring, it was worth taking for a beginner like me. The sense of humor of Dr. Armstrong and loose timing of deadlines helped make up for its weak points. Watching the first three weeks of the course are highly recommended for GRE general exam. It gives your mind the structure and terminology to talk about arguments.
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Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

9/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 7 months ago
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Jessica Susser profile image
Jessica Susser profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 3 completed
3 years, 3 months ago
I watched the first couple of weeks of this course while I was preparing for my GRE. It was absolutely perfect for what I needed: a basic introduction to logic that I could watch while packing my life away for another move. The professors are really fun and engaging, and the material really helped me on the reading and writing sections of the GRE. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to use it to study for the GRE, and I plan to complete this course in the future because it was just so fun.
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Zeljka T profile image
Zeljka T profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
3 years, 2 months ago
At times it was difficult to follow, not because of the teaching methods, but because of my lack of free time. The material offered was really extensive, even the book was available for all willing to learn everything they can from this class. It was indeed the class worth taking.
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Frayda Glass profile image
Frayda Glass profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
3 years, 2 months ago
I had no prior experience studying Logic or argument theory. I have never won an argument in my life. I am a siver-haired ex-music major, so I found this course a bit taxing; however, I learned so much. The best thing about the course is that it kept my interest and kept me trying, even though it was difficult for me. In the end, it was all do-able, and that made me feel great!
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Victor Campos Silveira profile image
Victor Campos Silveira profile image
7/10 starsCompleted
  • 15 reviews
  • 15 completed
3 years, 2 months ago
* My Prior Experience: I studied Logic during my graduation course, acquiring deep knowledge on the subject. * Evaluation activities: For each of four units, there are four quizzes; among theses four, the quizz in which one have the best grade is the one that counts for the final grade. * Good points: \- Classes are developed with a lot of humor: professor really can use humor to teach. \- Subjects are usually well exposed and evaluation exercises never demands more than taught during video classes. \- There is huge flexibility regarding to due dates. * Bad points: \- Due to the extension of the course, it sometimes gets boring and exhausting. \- Statement of accomplishment delayed almost two months to be issued * Overall evaluation: Despite too long and fatiguing, "Think Again: How to Reason and Argue" is a good and funny course that explain the principles of Logic in an easy way, as it uses almost no symbology. I would recommender ... * My Prior Experience: I studied Logic during my graduation course, acquiring deep knowledge on the subject. * Evaluation activities: For each of four units, there are four quizzes; among theses four, the quizz in which one have the best grade is the one that counts for the final grade. * Good points: \- Classes are developed with a lot of humor: professor really can use humor to teach. \- Subjects are usually well exposed and evaluation exercises never demands more than taught during video classes. \- There is huge flexibility regarding to due dates. * Bad points: \- Due to the extension of the course, it sometimes gets boring and exhausting. \- Statement of accomplishment delayed almost two months to be issued * Overall evaluation: Despite too long and fatiguing, "Think Again: How to Reason and Argue" is a good and funny course that explain the principles of Logic in an easy way, as it uses almost no symbology. I would recommender it for those who have interest in the subject, but especially for those who need or want to learn Logic and have some troubles to do it. (Course taken between August and November 2013).
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Bart olomeus profile image
Bart olomeus profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 15 reviews
  • 13 completed
3 years, 2 months ago
The lectures take quite a lot of time compared to the quizzes. The difficulty level is not very consistent. Some of the lectures and quizzes are really boring and repetitive, but that could just be me. I find the topic itself is very interesting. And even though I'm not always enjoying every bit, I do notice when I mechanically work through the course material, the material sticks which helps me to apply it outside the course which is the reason I took the course in the first place.
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Louis-Claude Canon profile image
Louis-Claude Canon profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
3 years, 5 months ago
Taking this course help to think more carefully about arguments, their construction, their potential flaws and what make them valid. The progression of the course is smooth and there are many quizzes that help to integrate the concepts. The humor brought by the instructors to the course is really welcomed. The main drawback of the course is probably that each exercise is too much focused on a single specific concept and there is no exercise that involves complete real-life example requiring a deep analysis and mobilizing all the concepts covered by the course.
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Jeanne Boyarsky profile image
Jeanne Boyarsky profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 33 reviews
  • 29 completed
3 years, 8 months ago
This was definitely not just a course thrown together on the web. The videos were mostly crafted for a web audience with videos/humor/gags to keep attention. Including one professor shaving is head and painting it purple at the end because it was "logical." (the mostly is because Ram's share of the videos has some lighting issues) Each lecture contained exercises which were multiple choice quizzes that you could take as many times as you wanted to master the material. The last week was made of up discussion about arguments submitted by students. The course grade was determined by four quizzes. They had a good system for striking a balance on retries. There were four different papers for each of the four quizzes. You could take each one independently and learn from your mistakes before applying those learnings to similar quizzes. This is better for professors than being given the same quiz (or a slightly different) one and X attempts.... This was definitely not just a course thrown together on the web. The videos were mostly crafted for a web audience with videos/humor/gags to keep attention. Including one professor shaving is head and painting it purple at the end because it was "logical." (the mostly is because Ram's share of the videos has some lighting issues) Each lecture contained exercises which were multiple choice quizzes that you could take as many times as you wanted to master the material. The last week was made of up discussion about arguments submitted by students. The course grade was determined by four quizzes. They had a good system for striking a balance on retries. There were four different papers for each of the four quizzes. You could take each one independently and learn from your mistakes before applying those learnings to similar quizzes. This is better for professors than being given the same quiz (or a slightly different) one and X attempts. As you have to actual learn to improve the grade. Parts of the course textbook "Understanding Arguments" were made available online for free during the course. I bought a copy of the book (it's a great book by the way - and written by one of the professors) so didn't try out the online one. And you did need the book to really understand some of the material. Finally, there were not week by week deadlines for this course. For the most part, I was able to stick to week by week. Which is better for participating in the discussion forums. I fell behind for a few weeks but was able to catch up because those were the weeks about logic which I already knew from being a software developer.
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Winthrop Yu profile image
Winthrop Yu profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 33 reviews
  • 27 completed
3 years, 8 months ago
Comprehensive yet easily accessible course on thinking and logic. Both instructors explained the material very well. But for some strange reason ... while i could both absorb and retain Prof. Walter's material, i didn't retain Prof. Ram's talks all that well.
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Anton Vynogradenko profile image
Anton Vynogradenko profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 10 months ago
Love this course, and love Walter, he makes my day all the time with every video I watch =) Reasoning and logic one of my favorite topics and the course is very entertaining and interesting, despite the fact that I am far away from being a beginner I found a lot of interesting stuff. First two weeks you might think that it's too much details and to obvious stuff sometimes, but trust Walter, that's important for further material. And the most exciting thing is that you can start applying knowledge in day-to-day life starting from the very first lectures.
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Satyajit Malugu profile image
Satyajit Malugu profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years ago
I had some background in logic, the course promised a lot of things but only delievered on few things. But still Walter is funny guy and it is a perfect couch side companion. They should have enforced stricter assignment limits.
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Barbara profile image
Barbara profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 7 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
Interesting course with lots of quirks. The early lectures don't prepare you for the complexity of the first quiz which is much harder than the videos would suggest. Most of the quizzes took me several hours to complete. If you don't get a passing score on a quiz, you don't get to retake the same test (or a very similar test) but instead have to take a different exam that tests slightly different material. The material itself was compelling enough for me to continue with the course although there were several points where I just wanted to call it quits. The professors were attuned enough to the course and the discussion boards to make adjustments along the way to keep the course moving. At the end of the day, I was happy I stuck with it.
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L Figueroa profile image
L Figueroa profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 13 completed
4 years, 2 months ago
This was a power packed and demanding broad based course focused on deductive, and intuitive reasoning which are key to forming and analyzing arguments. The instructors (Walter and Scott) were two of the more enthusiastic and creative lecturers I have ever encountered. They used a variety of techniques to help students better understand the demanding material. Overall, this was a valuable course, which can only help cut through the many fallacious arguments we are constantly being exposed to.
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CMW profile image
CMW profile image
5/10 starsDropped
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
4 years, 2 months ago
I did not complete this class as 1-life interfered 2-it required an excessive amount of time and 3- I don't think the course description met the material provided. Perhaps if the subject had been pared down to less complex of a subject for the timeframe of the class it might be more successful. Also the professor needs to move the camera back - even with a video, I felt my "space" was violated because the view of the professor's face was too close.
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Joanna profile image
Joanna profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 completed
4 years, 2 months ago
This course is designed for people who every now and then have a feeling, that something is wrong, but cannot grasp what and why exactly. Like what is wrong about the Achilles and the turtle. Both professors are great lecturers and make the videos fun. The pace is slowish, but that is good, because the material may be difficult for most people. The excersises are well-designed, not too easy but not about trivia from the lectures. The extra three weeks to complete the course after posting all the material were crucial for me. Courses this long suffer from a huge number of dropouts and this extra time makes it possible to return to the course after a rougher week.
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Carol Colffield profile image
Carol Colffield profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 7 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
Very interesting course but quite challenging. A very interesting introduction to logic, though. I had no previous experience in the field but walking my path through lectures and readings I ended up obtaining a "distinction" certificate.
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Marie Alkan profile image
Marie Alkan profile image
7/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
Loved the idea of virtual learning. When I was commuting to work 2hrs a day, it was a great opportunity to plug the earphones in and complete lectures and quizzes. On my Iunchbreaks at work, I would review lectures and make notes on the topics that I had't immediately grasped so it was great to have the lectures there to work at my own pace. I managed to complete four weeks of this course after which I fell behind a few weeks when my scheduled unexpectedly changed and just couldn't manage myself to catch up with the workload - there is quite a bit of material (video lectures and quizzes) to keep on track so the key is to stay on top of it, the presenters are very clear about this from the outset. I didn't get involved very much in the forums - I tried once but found it chaotic and disorganised and the commentary frenetic and confusing - too rapid fire for my laidback Gen X brain. I think there were also some technical issues in the f... Loved the idea of virtual learning. When I was commuting to work 2hrs a day, it was a great opportunity to plug the earphones in and complete lectures and quizzes. On my Iunchbreaks at work, I would review lectures and make notes on the topics that I had't immediately grasped so it was great to have the lectures there to work at my own pace. I managed to complete four weeks of this course after which I fell behind a few weeks when my scheduled unexpectedly changed and just couldn't manage myself to catch up with the workload - there is quite a bit of material (video lectures and quizzes) to keep on track so the key is to stay on top of it, the presenters are very clear about this from the outset. I didn't get involved very much in the forums - I tried once but found it chaotic and disorganised and the commentary frenetic and confusing - too rapid fire for my laidback Gen X brain. I think there were also some technical issues in the first few weeks which didn't help. Overall, I enjoyed what I had viewed and completed. Yes, some of the lectures were quirky, yes there were times when it left you to muse 'what was THAT all about' but I appreciated that and in the end I felt I was learning from that process just by virtue of challenging myself to think in a different way, not to everyone's liking I'm sure. I found the content to be at an appropriate entry level - even for someone like myself who only completed HS many Many MANY years ago with little formal study since. Suprisingly one of the the biggest outcomes from this study was a new found appreciation for mathematics (did anyone else notice that they're lecture notes would start to resemble basic mathematical equations?) Loved that even in something as seemingly unrelated as Philosophy, it was there! Also discovered an appreciation for linguistics, again another area I wouldn't have thought was related but of course seemed to underpin quite a bit of the content. Would highly recommend this course, even if your general interest is not in this area it's quite good just to reinitiate yourself into study after a lengthy gap. I hope to attempt this course again and complete it in the future.
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Ricardo Teixeira profile image
Ricardo Teixeira profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 86 reviews
  • 77 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
I have mixed feeling about this course. I find the subject - informal logic - fascinating. The pace of the course, however, is very slow. There is a LOT of repetition - mostly on one of the professor's part - and hours of video to watch each week. Plus, one of the professors developed smart exercises and quizzes - in the sense that the answers are fairly clear-cut and not really open for lots of discussion (this is, after all, a Philosophy class), but the other professor created exercises where he's clearly trying to trick us more than testing our understanding. It's frustrating as hell. I would recommend that future version of this course are shortened. If you keep the contents but remove the repetition you can shave off at least 2-3 weeks of material - that's how slow the course is.
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Dee profile image
Dee profile image
5/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
As other students have stated, this course has an extremely slow pace. This 12 week course could easily be structured as a 6-8 week course. Lots of repetitive videos and exercises. The first professor explained concepts better than the second and was more engaging. There are way too many videos to watch - I'm trying to get through them all. I would suggest spending your valuable time on another course.
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nml profile image
nml profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 12 reviews
  • 12 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
Course was good, but it was clear that it's their first time. Lectures were good, there were exercises attached to each of them. There was a lot of good humor in them, and you were looking forward to next one. However there were few issues with them. 1\. Sometimes they were too slow. Especially week with truth tables. Yes, there was a WHOLE week about truth tables. And exercises about it. I think that the course would gain if those lectures were shortened a lot, or even knowledge of truth tables would be required before taking the course. 2\. There were no pdf slides to them, and it's always convenient to have them. Exercises were very easy, and sometimes boring. There were 4 graded quizzes. Each quiz have few version of it with similar, multiple choice, questions. Each version could be taken only once, but the best score from each version was taken to the grade. This idea is very good. Quizzes were also easy, and quiz 2 was very bor... Course was good, but it was clear that it's their first time. Lectures were good, there were exercises attached to each of them. There was a lot of good humor in them, and you were looking forward to next one. However there were few issues with them. 1\. Sometimes they were too slow. Especially week with truth tables. Yes, there was a WHOLE week about truth tables. And exercises about it. I think that the course would gain if those lectures were shortened a lot, or even knowledge of truth tables would be required before taking the course. 2\. There were no pdf slides to them, and it's always convenient to have them. Exercises were very easy, and sometimes boring. There were 4 graded quizzes. Each quiz have few version of it with similar, multiple choice, questions. Each version could be taken only once, but the best score from each version was taken to the grade. This idea is very good. Quizzes were also easy, and quiz 2 was very boring. Dozens of questions about truth tables - NIGHTMARE! Also there were few mistakes in quizzes, and they weren't repaired very quickly. Also forum was very disorganized, and it looked like they weren't expecting so many people to take this course. At least at the beginning. I didn't really bother too look at it closely later, so maybe it got better. Course have potential to be very good, but for now there were few irritating issues with it. It could use some raise in difficulty, and some better organization.
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daisykho profile image
daisykho profile image
1/10 starsDropped
  • 11 reviews
  • 7 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
This was the only course I have dropped out of so far in Coursera because I was not learning anything useful after following it for 4 weeks. The frequent changes in camera angle presumably intended to keep the viewers engaged came across as annoying instead.For me, the course was going nowhere after two weeks, I waited another two to see whether it would develop a direction but gave up bearing with it after four weeks.
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Justin profile image
Justin profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 4 months ago
This course challenged me more than I thought it would. It wasn't what I expected at all, though I came to see how learning syllogisms and logical operators help remove ambiguity in arguments. Enjoyed it so much I may take it again in the future.
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Krista Garver profile image
Krista Garver profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 11 reviews
  • 10 completed
4 years, 4 months ago
This was a fun and gentle introduction to logic and reasoning. I just finished watching the final lectures and taking the last quiz. I agree with some of the other reviewers that the course is a bit slow to start. However, having tried to take the "Introduction to Logic" course (which I found nearly impossible), I liked the pace and structure of this course. The course is divided into four parts. Each week, there are 1-2 hours of lectures plus exercises. The lectures are very basic. They introduce the concepts very simply, but then the exercises (which are ungraded) are more difficult applications of the basic concepts. Although the pace of the lectures is sometimes slow, both professors (Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Ram Neta) are fun and engaging -- they have great senses of humor and ham it up quite a bit. So the lectures are fun, even when they go on a little too long. The last week of the course was particularly excellent. The pr... This was a fun and gentle introduction to logic and reasoning. I just finished watching the final lectures and taking the last quiz. I agree with some of the other reviewers that the course is a bit slow to start. However, having tried to take the "Introduction to Logic" course (which I found nearly impossible), I liked the pace and structure of this course. The course is divided into four parts. Each week, there are 1-2 hours of lectures plus exercises. The lectures are very basic. They introduce the concepts very simply, but then the exercises (which are ungraded) are more difficult applications of the basic concepts. Although the pace of the lectures is sometimes slow, both professors (Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Ram Neta) are fun and engaging -- they have great senses of humor and ham it up quite a bit. So the lectures are fun, even when they go on a little too long. The last week of the course was particularly excellent. The professors solicited arguments from students and then analyzed them based on what we had learned. The instructors were very close to the course. They frequently made postings on the discussion forums and worked hard to keep students engaged and on topic. Student participation was also very good. By the end of 12 weeks, I feel like I learned a lot, and I had fun doing it. I definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in logic and reasoning.
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Jeremy Barth profile image
Jeremy Barth profile image
2/10 starsDropped
  • 4 reviews
  • 3 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
Dropped this after a couple weeks in. The pace is mind-numbingly slow. The professor's "humor" coupled with random camera angle changes and cuts to stupid videos makes it unbearable. I had no idea where this course was going. I did like the exercises after each video.
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Simple profile image
Simple profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
Have been watching first week lecture. Its good knowledge for people who is studying/working with philosophy. Or people with less experience in living in this world (?). However, this was nothing for me. I dont want to waste my time watching this. This just did not suited my situation or my interests. But maybe it suits someone else. However, I am happy that this kind of class is available for free. I would regret if I did pay for it :) The way of learning by the professors is good. I am going to rate it good because I know this course is good for people with right interest. But I did not learn something very useful things here. Enjoy!
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Sandra Neuse profile image
Sandra Neuse profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
This is the third Coursera course I have taken and so far the best. It is only a week in but some of the better aspects of the course include: \- manageable length of the videos - most are 7-14 minutes in length, which makes it easy to find small bits of time to watch a video or two \- homework exercises to complete after each video, which allow you to check your understanding before moving to the next one \- professor is engaging, uses humor well, and gives excellent examples to illustrate points \- topic is interesting - may seem easy; that we all know how to argue - but based on week 1 I think this course will help me construct more solid and defensible arguments and perhaps organize my verbal and written communication better.
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