CRITICAL THINKING - Fundamentals: Bayes' Theorem [HD]
April 22, 2016
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Ian Olasov (CUNY) introduces Bayes' Theorem of conditional probability, and the related Base Rate Fallacy.
CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Straw Man Fallacy [HD]
April 17, 2016
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Joseph Wu (University of Cambridge) introduces you to the straw man fallacy. This fallacy is committed whenever someone misrepresents an opponent's claim in arguing against it.
CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Equivocation [HD]
November 11, 2015
Joseph Wu (University of Cambridge) explains the fallacy of equivocation, the fallacy that occurs when the same term is used with different meanings in an argument. Along the way, he discusses whether Miley Cyrus is an exploding ball of gas.
In this video, Laurie Santos (Yale University) discusses why knowing about our cognitive biases is not enough to overcome them. She’ll introduce a new cognitive error known as the G.I. Joe Fallacy, the tendency for our biases to stick around even when we should know better.
In this video, Laurie Santos (Yale University) explains why our memories of good and bad events are a biased. Specifically, she explains how our retrospective evaluations fall prey to the peak-end effect— a bias in which we overweight the peak and end of our everyday experiences— and how this bias leads us to ignore other features of the event like its duration.
The psychologist Laurie Santos (Yale University) explains the phenomenon of mental accounting: why we don't always assume that money is fungible. She explores why we set up different accounts for different purchases and how we can use our mental accounting biases to be happier about our financial decisions.
Laurie Santos, a psychologist at Yale University, explains two of our classic economic biases: reference dependence and loss aversion. Using a classic scenario from Kahneman and Tversky’s studies, she explores how these two biases violate economic rationality and how they affect the choices we make every day.
Laurie Santos (Yale University) examines how people's economic choices tend to confuse price and value. She then describes how these so-called pricing biases compel us to incorrectly assume that higher priced goods will often work and taste better.
In this video, the cognitive scientist Laurie Santos (Yale University) explains the phenomenon of anchoring. She shows how arbitrary information sometimes can sometimes act as an anchor that affects our judgments in unexpected ways.
In this video, the psychologist Laurie Santos (Yale University) explains the philosopher Tamar Gendler (Yale University)'s concept of alief — an automatic or habitual mental attitude. The video discusses why aliefs differ from beliefs and how aliefs can affect our important decisions more than we expect.
In this video, Geoff Pynn (Northern Illinois University) follows up on his introduction to critical thinking by exploring how abductive arguments give us reason to believe their conclusions. Good abductive arguments don't guarantee their conclusions, but give us very good reasons to believe their conclusions. This sort of inference is called "inference to the best explanation."
The Monty Hall problem is a strange result arising from a very simple situation. In this video, Bryce Gessell (Duke University) explains why it seems so counterintuitive and why the solution isn't counterintuitive at all.
Critical Thinking Fallacies: Post Hoc
February 20, 2015
In this video, Paul Henne (Duke University) explains the post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc fallacy. This is an informal fallacy committed when a person reasons that because one event happened after another event, the first event caused the second. He also discusses why it is sometimes hasty to conclude that your cat scratch caused your fever.
In this video, Jordan MacKenzie discusses a type of informal fallacy known as the argumentum ad populum fallacy, or the appeal to the people fallacy. This fallacy occurs when one attempts to establish the truth of a conclusion by appealing to the fact that the conclusion is widely believed to be true.
In this video, Kelley builds on the understanding of necessary and sufficient conditions laid out in her previous video on the topic (youtu.be/5LqNm9d2__I). In addition to providing further illustrative examples, Kelley addresses a new complexity: that our judgments of necessity and sufficiency very often rely on implicit background assumptions. Kelley also tackles the difficult question "What's so important about distinguishing necessary from sufficient conditions anyway?".
In this video, Geoff Pynn (Northern Illinois University) follows up on his introduction to critical thinking by exploring how deductive arguments give us reason to believe their conclusions. Good deductive arguments guarantee their conclusions, and so must be valid (i.e., it must be impossible for the premises to be true while the conclusion is false) and have true premises. Philosophers call arguments like these "sound". You can see whether an argument is sound by trying to think of a counterexample to it, but to see whether its premises are true, you need to do some research.
In this video, Julianne Chung (Yale University) offers a brief introduction to ad hominem fallacies, or fallacies of personal attack. She surveys six different types (abusive ad hominem, circumstantial ad hominem, tu quoque, guilt by association, genetic fallacy, and ad feminam), offering examples of each along the way. For a more detailed discussion of ad hominem fallacies, please see the video on ad hominem fallacies by Paul Henne (Duke University).
In this video, Julianne Chung (Yale University) explains the philosophical concepts of truth and validity before going on to illustrate how truth and falsity, as well as validity and invalidity, can appear in various combinations in an argument. She then introduces the concept of a sound argument (i.e., a valid argument whose premises are all true) and presents one reason to think that valid arguments with false premises are also of interest. For more detailed discussions of validity and soundness, please be sure to have a look at the videos on these topics by Paul Henne (Duke University) and Aaron Ancell (Duke University), respectively.
Critical Thinking Fundamentals: Soundness
November 14, 2014
In this video, Aaron Ancell (Duke University) discusses the philosophical concept of soundness. After reviewing validity, he defines soundness: an argument is sound when it is valid and has all true premises. He reviews a few examples of sound and unsound arguments, and he encourages you to develop sound arguments on your own.
Critical Thinking Fundamentals: Validity
October 30, 2014
In this video, Paul Henne (Duke University) discusses the philosophical concept of validity. After reviewing the structure of an argument, he defines validity: an argument is valid if and only if its premises guarantee the conclusion. He reviews a few examples of validity and invalidity, and he leaves you with one example to figure out on your own.

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A Toolkit for Building a Better Mind.