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Critical Reasoning for Beginners

Are you confident you can reason clearly? Are you able to convince others of your point of view? Are you able to give plausible reasons for believing what you believe? Do you sometimes read arguments in the newspapers, hear them on the television, or in the pub and wish you knew how to confidently evaluate them?

In this six-part course, you will learn all about arguments, how to identify them, how to evaluate them, and how not to mistake bad arguments for good. Such skills are invaluable if you are concerned about the truth of your beliefs, and the cogency of your arguments.

# Episode Title Description People Date Media Files
1 The Nature of Arguments The first of six lectures dealing with critical reasoning. In this lecture you will learn how to recognise arguments and what the nature of an argument is. Marianne Talbot 29 Jan 2010
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2 Different Types of Arguments The second of six lectures dealing with critical reasoning. In this lecture you will learn about the different types of arguments, in particular deductive and inductive arguments. Marianne Talbot 29 Jan 2010
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3 Setting out Arguments Logic Book Style Part three of a six-part series on critical reasoning. In this lecture we will focus on how to identify and analyse arguments, and how to set arguments out logic book-style to make them easier to evaluate. Marianne Talbot 10 Mar 2010
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4 What is a Good Argument? Validity and Truth Part four of a six-part series on critical reasoning. In this lecture we will learn how to evaluate arguments and how to tell whether an argument is good or bad, focusing specifically on inductive arguments. Marianne Talbot 11 Mar 2010
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5 Evaluating Arguments Part One Part five of a six-part series on critical reasoning. In this lecture we will continue with the evaluation of arguments - this time deductive arguments - focusing in particular on the notion of validity. Marianne Talbot 15 Mar 2010
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6 Evaluating Arguments Part Two Part six of a six-part series on critical reasoning. In this final lecture we will look at fallacies. These are bad arguments that can easily be mistaken for good arguments. Marianne Talbot 18 Mar 2010
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7 Further reading and more... So you've finished this series of podcasts. Find out where to go from here... Marianne Talbot 16 Apr 2012
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