Professor Gary Jason, PhD | Critical Thinking Resource Center
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Critical Thinking Resource Center

Part 1: Topics covered in class with video and other links.

To add to and amplify the discussion of the topics in my lectures, I have collected together a number of links video and audio recordings of various lectures, interviews, and news reports.

  • Chapter 1 of Critical Thinking

    → Material about Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland
    A. Written material

    1. Lewis Carroll has a North American fan club with a nice website….
    2. Naturally, he has a British fan club with a website
    3. He also designed a logic game
    4. Here is a book on Alice in Wonderland as a logical text…
    5. Two scholars have written a paper suggesting that Carroll’s book be used as a template for teaching logic to young students…

    B. Videos

    1. Great performances stage version of Alice in Wonderlandvideo.
    2. The Nations documentary on the book and its author…video.

    → Material about logic puzzles
    A. Written material: Logic puzzles are often included in standardized tests such as the LSAT. The eminent symbolic logician Raymond Smullyan has written some popular and entertaining puzzle books:

    1. The Godelian Puzzle Book
    2. What is the Name of this Book?
    3. The Lady or the Tiger
    4. The Riddle of Scheherazade
    5. Alice in Puzzle-Land

    B. Videos:

    1. Logic-Puzzles.org lecture on using grids to solve logic puzzles…video.

    → The nature of critical thinking.
    A. Definitions of critical thinking:

    1. Prof. Meegan on the definition of critical thinking…video.
    2. TeachPhilosophy on the definition of critical thinking…video.
    3. Prof. Dewald on the nature of critical thinking…video.
    4. Prof. Harrison on the definition of critical thinking…video.  
    5. ProCon.org pitch for the value of critical thinking…video.

    B. Mental models: 

    1. Prof. Wirth on mental models…video.
    2. HRDQ-U webinar on mental models…video.

    C. Lectures on critical thinking problems on standardized tests

    1. Veritas Prep on how to handle GMAT critical reasoning problems…video.
  • Chapter 2 of Critical Thinking

    → Statements.
    A. Definition of “statement”:

    1. PurdueGMI lecture on propositions v. sentences…video.

    B. Simple v. compound statements:

    1. Mathispower4U: Truth Tables for basic logical connectives…video.
    2. Mathispower4U: Conditional Statements…video.
    3. Mathispower4U: Biconditional Statements…video.
    4. Mathispower4U: Conditionals and Converses…video.

    C. On necessary vs. contingent statements.

    1. Necessary Thinker on necessary versus contingents…video.
    2. Carneades.org on necessary versus contingent truths…video.
    3. Prof. Anadale on necessary versus contingent truths…video.

    D. On factual and evaluative statements.

    1. Wireless philosophy of factual versus normative claims…video.
    2. David Pakman on normative and descriptive claims…video.
    3. John Paulett on description versus normative ethics…video.
  • Chapter 3 of Critical Thinking

    → Question logic.
    A.  Loaded question:

    1. Audiopedia: What is loaded question?…video.
    2. Carneades.org on fallacy of complex question…video.
    3. Loaded question…video.
    4. Moonrise Kingdom “loaded question” clip…video.
  • Chapter 4 of Critical Thinking

    → Arguments
    A. The concept of an argument:

    1. Fast Philosophy lecture on the concept of an argument…video.
    2. Online Philosophy lecture on the concept of an argument…video.
    3. Wireless Philosophy on the concept of argument…video
    4. Prof. Tuggy on the concept of argument…video.

    B.  Identifying single arguments:

    C.  Argument v. non-argument:

    1. Prof. Sadler on arguments vs. non-arguments…video.

    D.  Deductive v. inductive:

    1. Wireless Philosophy on validity…video.
    2. Fast Philosophy on deductive vs. inductive arguments and deductive validity vs. deductive soundness…video.

    E.  Truth and Validity:

    1. Wireless Philosophy on truth vs. validity…video.
    2. Wireless Philosophy on soundness…video.
  • Chapter 6 of Critical Thinking

    → Clarity of expression.
    A. Verbosity and Jargon

    1. Hurley Write lecture on avoiding verbosity…video.
    2. Communications teacher Simon on what is and isn’t jargon…video.
    3. Hurley Write lecture on avoiding clichés and jargon…video.
    4. BBC short lecture on understanding jargon…video.
    5. A classic skit on the “retro encabulator” device being described…video.
    6. Tech Jargon—Unmasked and Mocked…video.

    B. Vagueness

    1. Prof. Handke on types of vagueness in natural language…video.
    2. Profs. Rich and Cline on vagueness and the Sorites paradox…video.

    C. Loaded language

    1. ChangeMyMind lecture on loaded language and name-calling…video.

    D. Understatement and overstatement

    1. Let’sTalk lecture on understatement vs. exaggeration…video.

    E. Fallacies of ambiguity.

    1. Ambiguity
      1. Fast Philosophy lecture on vagueness and ambiguity…video.
      2. TeachPhilosophy on the difference between vagueness and philosophy…video.
      3. Prof. Handke on the nature and types of ambiguity…video.
      4. Prof. Koehl on fallacies of ambiguity…video.
    2. Equivocation
      1. Carneades.org lecture on the fallacy of equivocation…video.
      2. The great comedians Abbot and Costello had a classic Vaudeville routine, called “Who’s on First”, an extended take-off on Lewis Carroll’s use of “Nobody” as a name,  which they performed for years on radio, and later TV… clip.
      3. Jimmy Fallon, Billy Crystal, and Jerry Seinfeld did a remake of the Abbot/Costello routine not long back…clip.
      4. Wikipedia has a nice discussion of the use of ambiguity in other, earlier comedy routines…
    3. Accent
      1. Misleading advertising? Beale’s department store…video.
      2. The fine print: inside a Go Public investigation of misleading ads…video.
      3. Hyundai sued for misleading consumers…video.
      4. Always read the fine print…video.
      5. Fiber internet service advertising misleads customers…video.
      6. Understanding the fine print in automotive ads…video.
      7. Fruit juice rip-offs and what official really cares?…video.
    4. Composition
      1. Carneades.org lecture on the composition fallacy…video.
      2. Prof. Sadler on the fallacy of composition…video.
    5. Division
      1. Carneades.org on the division fallacy…video.
      2. Prof. Sadler on the fallacy of division…video.
  • Chapter 8 of Critical Thinking

    → Fallacies of relevance
    A. Fallacies of refusing to answer

    1. TeachPhilosophy on the fallacies of appeal to ignorance and shifting the burden of proof…video.
    2. Prof. Sadler on appeal to ignorance…video.

    B. Fallacies of relevance as a group

    1. Prof. Koehl on the fallacies of relevance part 1…video.
    2. Prof. Koehl on the fallacies of relevance part 2…video.

    C. Shifting the burden of proof/appeal to ignorance/argumentum ad verecundiam.

    1. TeachPhilosophy on the fallacies of appeal to ignorance and shifting the burden of proof…video.
    2. Prof. Sadler on appeal to ignorance…video.

    D. Attacking the person/appeal to hate/ad hominem argument

    1. Wireless Philosophy lecture on the nature of the ad hominem argument…video.
    2. Wireless Philosophy lecture on the varieties of ad hominem arguments…video.
    3. CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on abusive ad hominem…video.
    4. Prof. Sadler on abusive ad hominem…video.
    5. Prof. Sadler on circumstantial ad hominem…video.
    6. CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on tu quoque ad hominem…video.
    7. Prof. Sadler on tu quoque/inconsistency ad hominem…video.
    8. CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on guilt by association ad hominem…video.
    9. Prof. Sadler on guilt by association ad hominem…video.
    10. Prof. Sadler on the genetic fallacy…video.

    E. Appeal to fear/argumentum ad baculum

    1. Prof. Sadler on appeal to fear…video.

    F. Appeal to pity/argumentum ad misericordiam

    1. Prof. Sadler on appeal to pity…video.
    2. Carneades.org lecture on appeal to pity…video.

    G. Appeal to the crowd/argumentum ad populum

    1. CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on appeal to the crowd…video.
    2. Prof. Sadler on appeal to the crowd…video.
    3. Wireless Philosophy on appeal to the crowd…video.
    4. Prof. Sadler on appeal to tradition…video.
    5. Prof. Sadler on appeal to common practice…video.

    H. Ignoring the issue/ignoratio elenchi

    1. CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on straw man arguments…video.
    2. Prof. Sadler lecture on straw man arguments…video.
    3. CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on red herring arguments…video.
    4. CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on slippery slope arguments…video.
    5. Prof. Sadler on slippery slope arguments…video.
  • Chapter 9 of Critical Thinking

    → Consistency
    A. Cognitive dissonance theory

    1. Khan Academy lecture on cognitive dissonance theory…video.
    2. ETSU Online lecture on cognitive dissonance…video.
    3. Festinger’s original experiment showing cognitive dissonance theory…video.

    B. The psychology of conspiracy theories.

    1. Penn and Teller on conspiracy theories… clip
    2. DocZone report on conspiracy theories part 1…video.
    3. DocZone report on conspiracy theories part 2…video.
    4. DocZone report on conspiracy theories part 3…video.
    5. Prof. Brotherton on the psychology of conspiracy theories…video.
    6. Prof. Douglas on the psychology of conspiracy theories…video.
  • Chapter 11 of Critical Thinking

    → Observation
    A. Basic physiology

    1. Sensory system…video.
    2. Olfaction—structure and function…video.
    3. Gustation—structure and function…video.
    4. How the eye works animation…video.

    → Memory
    A. Research on false memory

    1. Elizabeth Loftus “lost in the mall” experiment…clip.
    2. Loftus and Palmer on false memories…video.
    3. Loftus TED talk on the fiction of memory…video.
    4. A BBC report on the use of altered pictures to implant false memories…clip.
    5. Stossel report on children’s suggestibility…video.

    → Testimony
    A. Eye-witness testimony.

    1. CBS 60 Minutes on errors in eyewitness testimony part I
    2. CBS 60 Minutes on errors in eyewitness testimony part II
    3. The infamous McMartin Preschool molestation case and biased interrogation…video.
    4. Humorous observation test…video.

    B. Expert testimony

    1. CriticalThinkingAcademy lecture on appeals to authority…video.  
    2. Prof. Sadler on fallacious appeal to authority…video.
  • Chapter 12 of Critical Thinking

    → Generalization
    A. The statistics of sampling.

    1. Statistics Learning Center lecture on sampling techniques…video.
    2. Statistics Learning Center lecture on variation and sampling error…video.
    3. Statistics Learning Center lecture on p values…video.
    4. Statistics Learning Center lecture on important statistical concepts…video.

    → Instantiation
    A. The fallacy of accident

    1. Carneades.org lecture on accident…video.
  • Chapter 13 of Critical Thinking

    → Analogy
    A. Reasoning by analogy in cognition

    1. Prof. Hofstadter lecture on analogy as the core of cognition…video.

    B. Analogical arguments

    1. Prof. Rogacs on generalization vs. analogical arguments…video.
    2. Online Philosophy lecture on analogical arguments…video.
    3. Prof. Sinnott-Armstrong on analogical arguments…video.

               
    C. Analogical reasoning in the law and ethics

    1. Prof. Kim on analogical reasoning in the law…video.
    2. Prof. LaBossiere on analogical reasoning…video.

    D. Analogical puzzle-solving for standardized tests.

    1. Alex Avila on LSAT analogical test prep…video.
    2. Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problems…part 1 video.
    3. Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problems…part 2 video.
    4. Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problems…part 3 video.
    5. Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problems…part 4 video.
    6. Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problems…part 5 video.
    7. Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problems…part 6 video.
  • Chapter 14 of Critical Thinking

    → Causality
    A. Types of causal claim

    1. Wireless Philosophy on necessary vs. sufficient conditions…video.

    B.  Correlaation versus causality

    1. Freakonomics channel lecture on correlation and causality…video.
    2. Prof. Walter on correlation vs. causality…video.
    3. Correlation vs. causation short lecture…video.

    C. False cause fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc):

    1. Wireless Philosophy lecture on post hoc ergo propter hoc…video.
    2. The Big Bang Theory clip
    3. The West Wing clip
    4. Cartoon clip

    D. False cause fallacy and vaccination hysteria

    1. Penn and Teller on the dread fear of vaccinations and autism clip
    2. Khan Academy lecture on the Wakefield study of vaccination and autism…part 1 video.
    3. Khan Academy lecture on the Wakefield study of vaccination and autism…part 2 video.
    4. PBS report on the vaccine wars…video.
  • Chapter 16 of Critical Thinking

    → Decision theory
    A. Rational choice model

    1. Khan Academy on rational choice theory…video.
    2. Alanis Business Academy on rational choice model…video.
    3. Audiopedia lecture on rational choice theory…video.
    4. UCTV interview with Nobelist Gary Becker on applying rational choice model to social phenomena (crime, family, addiction, discrimination….)…video.
    5. University of Chicago celebration of the lifer and work of Gary Becker…video.

    B. Kahneman and behavioral decision theory

    1. Short Yale lecture on Nobelist Kahneman’s prospect theory…video.
    2. APS interview with Daniel Kahneman…video.
    3. NPR interview with Kaneman on loss aversion…video.
    4. Sakler talk by Kahneman on overconfidence and thinking we know…video.
    5. Richard Thaler on behavioral economics (Google talk)…video.
    6. YaleCourses Nobelist Shiller on behavioral finance…video.

    C. Gigerenzer on heuristics and rationality

    1. Gigerenzer on the history of decision theory…video.
    2. Gigerenzer on when heuristics are superior…video.
    3. Gigerenzer on the role of intuitions…video.
    4. Gigerenzer on evolutionary theory of decision-making…video.
    5. Gigerenzer on the mind as an adaptive toolbox…video.
    6. Gigerenzer on why he got into decision theory…video.
    7. Gigerenzer TEDx Talk on risk literacy…video.
  • Chapter 17 of Critical Thinking

    → Sales manipulation
    A. Videos on the work of Robert Cialdini

    1. Cialdini on the science of persuasion…video.
    2. Investors’ Podcast on Cialdini…video.
    3. Cialdini on pre-persuasion…video.

    B. On the authority mechanism:

    1. Philip Zimbardo on Stanley Milgram…video.
    2. 1962 Documentary on Milgram Experiment…video.
    3. ABC remake of the Milgram Experiment…video.

    C. History of advertising

    1.  Sell & Spin: a History of Advertising…video.
    2.  How Marketers Manipulate Us…video.

    D.  Deceitful sales pitches

    1. Frontline story on Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme clip
    2. Affinity fraud explained…video.
    3. Top 10 marketing tricks…video

    E. Controversies around marketing to kids

    1. Anna Lappe on marketing food to kids…video.
    2. Agnes Nairn consumer kids…video.
    3. A Kid’s Survival Guide to ads part 1 of 2…video.
    4. A Kid’s Survival Guide to ads part 2 of 2…video.
    5. A Kid’s Survival Guide to ads for food…video.

    F. Wise consumer choices

    1. Consumer tips…video.
    2. How to Save Money Every Day…video.
    3. A Simple Trick on Saving Money…video.
  • Chapter 18 of Critical Thinking

    → Political manipulation
    A. Political marketing techniques

    1. Ries report on branding candidates…video.
    2. Spotting propaganda techniques…classic video.
    3. HowStuffWorks lecture on 7 propaganda techniques…video.

    B. Famous practitioners of propaganda

    1. Academy of Ideas lecture on Gustave Le Bon…video.
    2. Le Bon The Crowd audio book…audio.
    3. ReasonTV lecture on the power of Nazi propaganda…video.
    4. HistoryTruths lecture on Joseph Goebbels…video.
    5. History Channel documentary on Goebbels…part 1 video.
    6. History Channel documentary part 2…video.
    7. History Channel documentary part 3…video.
    8. History Channel documentary part 4…video.
    9. Lenin—agit-prop trains…video.
    10. HowStuffWorks documentary on Edward Bernays…part 1 video.
    11. HowStuffWorks documentary on Edward Bernays…part 2 video.
    12. HowStuffWorks documentary on Edward Bernays…part 3 video.

    C. Attack and warm/fuzzy ads

    1. Mr. Show send-up of political ads…video.
    2. The infamous “Daisy Girl” attack ad from 1964 presidential race…video.
  • Chapter 19 of Critical Thinking

    → Science vs. pseudo-science
    A. General cognitive issues

    1. Michael Shermer on why people believe weird things…video.
    2. Shermer on the believing brain…video.
    3. James Randi on how a professional magician investigates claims of the paranormal…video.
    4. James Randi’s 1991 show on exposing paranormal claims…video.
    5. Randi debunking faith healing…video.

    B. Science vs. pseudo-science

    1. Prof. Beals on science/pseudo-science…video.
    2. Bill Nye on pseudoscience…video.