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Online course

Logical and Critical Thinking

Improve your logical and critical thinking skills in this free online course. Identify common obstacles to effective thinking.

Logical and Critical Thinking

Why join the course?

We are constantly being given reasons to do and believe things: to believe that we should buy a product, support a cause, accept a job, judge someone innocent or guilty, that fairness requires us to do some household chore, and so on. Assessing the reasons we are given to do or believe these things calls upon us to think critically and logically.

Even though we’re called upon to use our critical and logical thinking skills all the time, most of us are not that good at it. This course aims to help you develop and improve these skills.

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What topics will you cover?

You’ll learn how to:

  • identify and avoid common thinking mistakes that lead to the formation of bad beliefs;
  • recognise, reconstruct and evaluate arguments;
  • use basic logical tools to analyse arguments;
  • and apply those tools in areas including science, moral theories and law.

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore key concepts in logical and critical thinking
  • Apply key concepts in logical and critical thinking
  • Identify obstacles to logical and critical thinking
  • Identify the components of a good argument
  • Produce an argument in standard form
  • Classify deductive and non-deductive arguments
  • Evaluate arguments based on criteria such as validity, strength and cogency
  • Interpret scientific, moral and legal arguments
  • Develop an argument "in the wild"
  • Assess arguments charitably

Who is the course for?

This course is open to anyone with an interest in improving their logical and critical thinking skills. No previous knowledge or experience is required.

Who will you learn with?

Tim Dare

Tim Dare is Head of Philosophy at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He lives on a (very) small farm with his wife Justine and two pet pigs. He is committed to the practical value of philosophy

Patrick Girard

I am originally from Québec, Canada. I completed a Ph.D in Philosophy at Stanford University in 2008, specialising in Logic, and I am now a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Who developed the course?

The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s leading university and the only one included in the Times Higher Education top 200.

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Join this course

Free

  • Access to this course for 10 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes

Upgrade - $79

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Availability heuristic
    Availability heuristic
    video

    We tend to judge the probability of an event by seeing how readily examples come to mind, rather than by working out the real probabilities.

  • Pohutukawa tree case study
    Pohutukawa tree case study
    video

    When is it best to express your views by providing reasons? Are there cases in which other ways of expressing yourself might be better suited?

  • Arguments for and against the existence of God
    Arguments for and against the existence of God
    video

    John Bishop and Patrick Girard from the University of Auckland discuss deductive and non-deductive arguments for and against the existence of God.

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