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
- Lewis Carroll has a North American fan club with a nice website….
- Naturally, he has a British fan club with a website…
- He also designed a logic game…
- Here is a book on Alice in Wonderland as a logical text…
- Two scholars have written a paper suggesting that Carroll’s book be used as a template for teaching logic to young students…
- Great performances stage version of Alice in Wonderlandâ€¦video.
- The Nations documentary on the book and its authorâ€¦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:
- The Godelian Puzzle Book…
- What is the Name of this Book?…
- The Lady or the Tiger…
- The Riddle of Scheherazade…
- Alice in Puzzle-Land…
- Logic-Puzzles.org lecture on using grids to solve logic puzzlesâ€¦video.
→ The nature of critical thinking.
A. Definitions of critical thinking:
- Prof. Meegan on the definition of critical thinkingâ€¦video.
- TeachPhilosophy on the definition of critical thinkingâ€¦video.
- Prof. Dewald on the nature of critical thinkingâ€¦video.
- Prof. Harrison on the definition of critical thinkingâ€¦video.Â Â
- ProCon.org pitch for the value of critical thinkingâ€¦video.
B. Mental models:Â
C. Lectures on critical thinking problems on standardized tests
- Veritas Prep on how to handle GMAT critical reasoning problemsâ€¦video.
- Chapter 2 of Critical Thinking
A. Definition of “statement”:
- PurdueGMI lecture on propositions v. sentencesâ€¦video.
B. Simple v. compound statements:
- Mathispower4U: Truth Tables for basic logical connectives…video.
- Mathispower4U: Conditional Statements…video.
- Mathispower4U: Biconditional Statements…video.
- Mathispower4U: Conditionals and Converses…video.
C. On necessary vs. contingent statements.
- Necessary Thinker on necessary versus contingents…video.
- Carneades.org on necessary versus contingent truths…video.
- Prof. Anadale on necessary versus contingent truths…video.
D. On factual and evaluative statements.
- Chapter 3 of Critical Thinking
→ Question logic.
A.Â Loaded question:
- Chapter 4 of Critical Thinking
A. The concept of an argument:
- Fast Philosophy lecture on the concept of an argumentâ€¦video.
- Online Philosophy lecture on the concept of an argumentâ€¦video.
- Wireless Philosophy on the concept of argumentâ€¦video
- Prof. Tuggy on the concept of argumentâ€¦video.
B.Â Identifying single arguments:
C. Â Argument v. non-argument:
- Prof. Sadler on arguments vs. non-argumentsâ€¦video.
D. Â Deductive v. inductive:
- Wireless Philosophy on validityâ€¦video.
- Fast Philosophy on deductive vs. inductive arguments and deductive validity vs. deductive soundnessâ€¦video.
E.Â Truth and Validity:
- Chapter 6 of Critical Thinking
→ Clarity of expression.
A. Verbosity and Jargon
- Hurley Write lecture on avoiding verbosityâ€¦video.
- Communications teacher Simon on what is and isn’t jargonâ€¦video.
- Hurley Write lecture on avoiding clichÃ©s and jargonâ€¦video.
- BBC short lecture on understanding jargonâ€¦video.
- A classic skit on the “retro encabulator” device being describedâ€¦video.
- Tech Jargonâ€”Unmasked and Mockedâ€¦video.
- Prof. Handke on types of vagueness in natural languageâ€¦video.
- Profs. Rich and Cline on vagueness and the Sorites paradoxâ€¦video.
C. Loaded language
- ChangeMyMind lecture on loaded language and name-callingâ€¦video.
D. Understatement and overstatement
- Let’sTalk lecture on understatement vs. exaggerationâ€¦video.
E. Fallacies of ambiguity.
- Carneades.org lecture on the fallacy of equivocationâ€¦video.
- 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,Â which they performed for years on radio, and later TV… clip.
- Jimmy Fallon, Billy Crystal, and Jerry Seinfeld did a remake of the Abbot/Costello routine not long back…clip.
- Wikipedia has a nice discussion of the use of ambiguity in other, earlier comedy routines…
- Misleading advertising? Beale’s department store…video.
- The fine print: inside a Go Public investigation of misleading ads…video.
- Hyundai sued for misleading consumers…video.
- Always read the fine print…video.
- Fiber internet service advertising misleads customers…video.
- Understanding the fine print in automotive ads…video.
- Fruit juice rip-offs and what official really cares?…video.
- Chapter 8 of Critical Thinking
→ Fallacies of relevance
A. Fallacies of refusing to answer
- TeachPhilosophy on the fallacies of appeal to ignorance and shifting the burden of proof…video.
- Prof. Sadler on appeal to ignorance…video.
B. Fallacies of relevance as a group
- Prof. Koehl on the fallacies of relevance part 1â€¦video.
- Prof. Koehl on the fallacies of relevance part 2â€¦video.
C. Shifting the burden of proof/appeal to ignorance/argumentum ad verecundiam.
- TeachPhilosophy on the fallacies of appeal to ignorance and shifting the burden of proofâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on appeal to ignoranceâ€¦video.
D. Attacking the person/appeal to hate/ad hominem argument
- Wireless Philosophy lecture on the nature of the ad hominem argumentâ€¦video.
- Wireless Philosophy lecture on the varieties of ad hominem argumentsâ€¦video.
- CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on abusive ad hominemâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on abusive ad hominemâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on circumstantial ad hominemâ€¦video.
- CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on tu quoque ad hominemâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on tu quoque/inconsistency ad hominemâ€¦video.
- CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on guilt by association ad hominemâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on guilt by association ad hominemâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on the genetic fallacyâ€¦video.
E. Appeal to fear/argumentum ad baculum
- Prof. Sadler on appeal to fearâ€¦video.
F. Appeal to pity/argumentum ad misericordiam
G. Appeal to the crowd/argumentum ad populum
- CriticalThinkerAcademy lecture on appeal to the crowdâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on appeal to the crowdâ€¦video.
- Wireless Philosophy on appeal to the crowdâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on appeal to traditionâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sadler on appeal to common practiceâ€¦video.
H. Ignoring the issue/ignoratio elenchi
- Chapter 9 of Critical Thinking
A. Cognitive dissonance theory
- Khan Academy lecture on cognitive dissonance theoryâ€¦video.
- ETSU Online lecture on cognitive dissonanceâ€¦video.
- Festinger’s original experiment showing cognitive dissonance theoryâ€¦video.
B. The psychology of conspiracy theories.
- Penn and Teller on conspiracy theories… clip…
- DocZone report on conspiracy theories part 1â€¦video.
- DocZone report on conspiracy theories part 2â€¦video.
- DocZone report on conspiracy theories part 3â€¦video.
- Prof. Brotherton on the psychology of conspiracy theoriesâ€¦video.
- Prof. Douglas on the psychology of conspiracy theoriesâ€¦video.
- Chapter 11 of Critical Thinking
A. Basic physiology
- Sensory system…video.
- Olfactionâ€”structure and function…video.
- Gustationâ€”structure and function…video.
- How the eye works animation…video.
A. Research on false memory
- Elizabeth Loftus “lost in the mall” experiment…clip.
- Loftus and Palmer on false memoriesâ€¦video.
- Loftus TED talk on the fiction of memoryâ€¦video.
- A BBC report on the use of altered pictures to implant false memories…clip.
- Stossel report on children’s suggestibilityâ€¦video.
A. Eye-witness testimony.
- CBS 60 Minutes on errors in eyewitness testimony part I…
- CBS 60 Minutes on errors in eyewitness testimony part II…
- The infamous McMartin Preschool molestation case and biased interrogationâ€¦video.
- Humorous observation testâ€¦video.
B. Expert testimony
- Chapter 12 of Critical Thinking
A. The statistics of sampling.
- Statistics Learning Center lecture on sampling techniquesâ€¦video.
- Statistics Learning Center lecture on variation and sampling errorâ€¦video.
- Statistics Learning Center lecture on p valuesâ€¦video.
- Statistics Learning Center lecture on important statistical conceptsâ€¦video.
A. The fallacy of accident
- Carneades.org lecture on accidentâ€¦video.
- Chapter 13 of Critical Thinking
A. Reasoning by analogy in cognition
- Prof. Hofstadter lecture on analogy as the core of cognitionâ€¦video.
B. Analogical arguments
- Prof. Rogacs on generalization vs. analogical argumentsâ€¦video.
- Online Philosophy lecture on analogical argumentsâ€¦video.
- Prof. Sinnott-Armstrong on analogical argumentsâ€¦video.
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C. Analogical reasoning in the law and ethics
- Prof. Kim on analogical reasoning in the lawâ€¦video.
- Prof. LaBossiere on analogical reasoningâ€¦video.
D. Analogical puzzle-solving for standardized tests.
- Alex Avila on LSAT analogical test prepâ€¦video.
- Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problemsâ€¦part 1 video.
- Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problemsâ€¦part 2 video.
- Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problemsâ€¦part 3 video.
- Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problemsâ€¦part 4 video.
- Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problemsâ€¦part 5 video.
- Prof. Ellis on solving analogical problemsâ€¦part 6 video.
- Chapter 14 of Critical Thinking
A. Types of causal claim
- Wireless Philosophy on necessary vs. sufficient conditionsâ€¦video.
B.Â Correlaation versus causality
- Freakonomics channel lecture on correlation and causalityâ€¦video.
- Prof. Walter on correlation vs. causalityâ€¦video.
- Correlation vs. causation short lectureâ€¦video.
C. False cause fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc):
- Wireless Philosophy lecture on post hoc ergo propter hocâ€¦video.
- The Big Bang Theory clip…
- The West Wing clip…
- Cartoon clip…
D. False cause fallacy and vaccination hysteria
- Chapter 16 of Critical Thinking
→ Decision theory
A. Rational choice model
- Khan Academy on rational choice theoryâ€¦video.
- Alanis Business Academy on rational choice modelâ€¦video.
- Audiopedia lecture on rational choice theoryâ€¦video.
- UCTV interview with Nobelist Gary Becker on applying rational choice model to social phenomena (crime, family, addiction, discriminationâ€¦.)â€¦video.
- University of Chicago celebration of the lifer and work of Gary Beckerâ€¦video.
B. Kahneman and behavioral decision theory
- Short Yale lecture on Nobelist Kahneman’s prospect theoryâ€¦video.
- APS interview with Daniel Kahnemanâ€¦video.
- NPR interview with Kaneman on loss aversionâ€¦video.
- Sakler talk by Kahneman on overconfidence and thinking we knowâ€¦video.
- Richard Thaler on behavioral economics (Google talk)â€¦video.
- YaleCourses Nobelist Shiller on behavioral financeâ€¦video.
C. Gigerenzer on heuristics and rationality
- Gigerenzer on the history of decision theoryâ€¦video.
- Gigerenzer on when heuristics are superiorâ€¦video.
- Gigerenzer on the role of intuitionsâ€¦video.
- Gigerenzer on evolutionary theory of decision-makingâ€¦video.
- Gigerenzer on the mind as an adaptive toolboxâ€¦video.
- Gigerenzer on why he got into decision theoryâ€¦video.
- Gigerenzer TEDx Talk on risk literacyâ€¦video.
- Chapter 17 of Critical Thinking
→ Sales manipulation
A. Videos on the work of Robert Cialdini
- Cialdini on the science of persuasion…video.
- Investors’ Podcast on Cialdini…video.
- Cialdini on pre-persuasion…video.
B. On the authority mechanism:
- Philip Zimbardo on Stanley Milgram…video.
- 1962 Documentary on Milgram Experiment…video.
- ABC remake of the Milgram Experiment…video.
C. History of advertising
D.Â Deceitful sales pitches
- Frontline story on Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme clip…
- Affinity fraud explained…video.
- Top 10 marketing tricks…video
E. Controversies around marketing to kids
- Anna Lappe on marketing food to kids…video.
- Agnes Nairn consumer kids…video.
- A Kid’s Survival Guide to ads part 1 of 2…video.
- A Kid’s Survival Guide to ads part 2 of 2…video.
- A Kid’s Survival Guide to ads for food…video.
F. Wise consumer choices
- Chapter 18 of Critical Thinking
→ Political manipulation
A. Political marketing techniques
- Ries report on branding candidatesâ€¦video.
- Spotting propaganda techniquesâ€¦classic video.
- HowStuffWorks lecture on 7 propaganda techniquesâ€¦video.
B. Famous practitioners of propaganda
- Academy of Ideas lecture on Gustave Le Bonâ€¦video.
- Le Bon The Crowd audio bookâ€¦audio.
- ReasonTV lecture on the power of Nazi propagandaâ€¦video.
- HistoryTruths lecture on Joseph Goebbelsâ€¦video.
- History Channel documentary on Goebbelsâ€¦part 1 video.
- History Channel documentary part 2â€¦video.
- History Channel documentary part 3â€¦video.
- History Channel documentary part 4â€¦video.
- Leninâ€”agit-prop trainsâ€¦video.
- HowStuffWorks documentary on Edward Bernaysâ€¦part 1 video.
- HowStuffWorks documentary on Edward Bernaysâ€¦part 2 video.
- HowStuffWorks documentary on Edward Bernaysâ€¦part 3 video.
C. Attack and warm/fuzzy ads
- Chapter 19 of Critical Thinking
→ Science vs. pseudo-science
A. General cognitive issues
- Michael Shermer on why people believe weird thingsâ€¦video.
- Shermer on the believing brainâ€¦video.
- James Randi on how a professional magician investigates claims of the paranormalâ€¦video.
- James Randi’s 1991 show on exposing paranormal claimsâ€¦video.
- Randi debunking faith healingâ€¦video.
B. Science vs. pseudo-science