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.
Paul Henne: Ad hominem
September 12, 2014
In this video, Paul Henne (Duke University) describes the ad hominem fallacy, which is an informal fallacy that arises when someone attacks the person making the argument rather than their argument. He also describes the four subtypes of this fallacy.
In this video Matthew C. Harris of Duke University explains the informal logical fallacy called begging the question and the associated concept of circular reasoning.
In this video, Matthew C. Harris explains the fallacy of denying the antecedent, the formal fallacy that arises from inferring the inverse of a conditional statement. He also explains why graduate students might also be humans.
In this video, Matthew C. Harris explains the fallacy of affirming the consequent, the formal fallacy that arises from inferring the converse of an argument. He also explains why you sometimes cannot conclude that you should bathe in a tub of peanut butter.
We humans are a chatty bunch--we talk A LOT. But each claim we make can be sorted neatly sorted into one of two categories: it either describes something or it evaluates something (philosophers call these descriptive and normative claims respectively). In this Wireless Philosophy video, a Yale University philosopher illustrates the descriptive/normative distinction, and it's importance, with the use of ample examples.
Geoff gets you started on the critical thinking journey. He tells you what critical thinking is, what an argument is, and what the difference between a deductive and an ampliative argument is.
The concept of justification is fundamental to good, careful thinking. But what does it mean for a belief or action to be justified? In this Wireless Philosophy video, a Yale University philosopher sheds some light on how to assess whether a belief and action is justified. She also clarifies the notion of justification by distinguishing it from explanation and explaining its relationship to the practice of giving reasons.
Kelley Schiffman: Implicit Premise
June 17, 2014
This video will rock your world! You should watch it. This pithy little argument contains an implicit premise: "If a video will rock your world, you should watch it". In this Wireless Philosophy video, a Yale University philosopher will go over how to identify implicit premises in all sorts of arguments and discuss when it is and is not acceptable to leave a premise implicit.
What sort of things do we value and why? In this Wireless Philosophy video, a Yale University philosopher distinguishes two different kinds of value: (1) Intrinsic value--the value that something has in itself--and (2) instrumental value--the value that something has because it helps us to get or achieve some other thing. This philosophically and practically useful distinction is illuminated through the use of plenty of examples and ordinary language glosses.
In this video, Paul describes the distinction between formal and informal fallacies. This distinction is useful for understanding the fallacies in Wi-Phi's Critical Thinking section.
In this video, Paul Henne describes the fallacy of division, the informal fallacy that arises when we assume that the parts of some whole must have the same properties as the whole they make up. He also discusses why water molecules aren't wet.
In this video, Paul Henne describes the fallacy of composition, an informal fallacy that arises when we assume that some whole has the same properties as its parts. He also discusses why there aren't colorless cats.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, a Yale University philosopher discusses one of the most basic tools in the philosophers's tool kit: the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions. Through the use of ordinary language glosses and plenty of examples this mighty distinction is brought down to earth and presented in a ready-to-use fashion.

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A Toolkit for Building a Better Mind.