Critical Thinker Academy Learn to Think Like a Philosopher

How to improve your grades, advance in your job and expand your mind — by learning how to think for yourself!
Critical Thinker Academy Learn to Think Like a Philosopher
File Size :
7.71 GB
Total length :
19h 33m


Kevin deLaplante


Last update

Last updated 7/2020



Critical Thinker Academy Learn to Think Like a Philosopher

What you’ll learn

fundamental concepts of critical thinking (logic, argument analysis, rhetoric, reasoning with probabilities, the importance of background knowledge, etc.)
the importance of critical thinking for personal development, participation in democratic society, and the pursuit of wisdom
the role that critical thinking principles play in good essay writing
how cognitive biases make us prone to errors in how we form beliefs and make judgments
how our tribal psychology and political polarization affect our ability to think critically
how debates in science often turn on the meanings of key terms, like “theory”, “fact”, “hypothesis” and “law”
and much more!

Critical Thinker Academy Learn to Think Like a Philosopher

Critical Thinker Academy Learn to Think Like a Philosopher-screenshot


An interest in improving one’s critical thinking skills. That’s it!


For long-term success in school, business and life, learning HOW to think is far more important than learning WHAT to think.             Yet rather than serve as the core of any education worthy of a rational human being, we have relegated the teaching of logic, argument analysis and critical reasoning to specialty courses in universities that reach too few students, too late in their education.    In this course I share my growing understanding of these topics, with a focus on what is practically important and useful for developing as independent critical thinkers.    Currently the course contains over 200 videos totalling over 19 hours of viewing time!           Among the topics you will learn:  why critical thinking is importantthe difference between logic and argumentationwhat makes an argument good or badthe importance of background knowledge for critical thinkingtechniques of argument analysis and reconstructionwhat our growing understanding of the human mind tells us about how we actually form beliefs and make decisionshow tribalism and political polarization affect our ability to think criticallyhow scientific debates often turn on the meanings of key terms, like “theory”, “law”, and “hypothesis”how to reason about chance and uncertaintyhow to write a good argumentative essayhow to cite sources and avoid plagiarism in your writing         and much more! This content is drawn from a variety of teaching resources I’ve developed over the past few years, including a video podcast.          It’s important for you to know that I am continuing to add videos and course modules on a regular basis. This course will continue to grow and grow — I have a LOT OF GROUND that I want to cover! This is ONLY THE BEGINNING!


Section 1: Introductions

Lecture 1 What People Are Saying …

Lecture 2 How to Use The Course Materials

Section 2: Why Critical Thinking is Important

Lecture 3 Why Critical Thinking is Important – PDF Ebook

Lecture 4 Logical Self-Defense

Lecture 5 Personal Empowerment

Lecture 6 Liberal Democracy and Civic Duty

Lecture 7 Philosophy and the Search for Wisdom

Section 3: The Five Pillars of Critical Thinking

Lecture 8 The Five Pillars of Critical Thinking – PDF Ebook

Lecture 9 The Five Pillars of Critical Thinking

Lecture 10 Logic for Critical Thinkers

Lecture 11 Argumentation versus Rhetoric

Lecture 12 Critical Thinking’s Dirty Secret

Lecture 13 What Critical Thinkers Can Learn From Good Actors

Section 4: Cognitive Biases and Critical Thinking

Lecture 14 Cognitive Biases and Critical Thinking – PDF Ebook

Lecture 15 Cognitive Biases: Introduction

Lecture 16 Cognitive Biases and the Authority of Science

Lecture 17 Cognitive Biases and the Evolution of Reason

Section 5: Tribalism, Polarization and Critical Thinking

Lecture 18 Introduction

Lecture 19 Belief, Identity and Resistance: Introduction to the Core Belief Model

Lecture 20 What is Tribalism? Why is it Dangerous?

Lecture 21 Our Tribal Intelligence: Personal vs Group Knowledge

Lecture 22 In Our Tribe We Trust: How Group Identities Shape Our Thinking

Lecture 23 Appendix to “Our Tribal Intelligence”: The Knowledge Illusion

Section 6: Cognitive Biases, Tribalism and Politics

Lecture 24 Value Pluralism: We Care About Many Kinds of Values

Lecture 25 Tribalism and the Focusing Illusion

Lecture 26 Polarization and Politics: How it Impairs Our Critical Thinking Faculties

Section 7: Special Topic: Critical Thinking About Science: The Vocabulary of Science

Lecture 27 Introduction

Lecture 28 Is Evolution a Theory, a Fact, or Both?

Lecture 29 Overview

Lecture 30 An Important Distinction: Epistemically Loaded versus Neutral Language

Lecture 31 “Theory” as Down-Player

Lecture 32 “Theory” as Up-Player

Lecture 33 Why We Need an Epistemically Neutral Concept of “Theory”

Lecture 34 A Neutral Definition of “Theory”: A Classical (but incomplete) Story

Lecture 35 A Neutral Definition of “Theory”: A More Sophisticated Story

Lecture 36 “You Can’t Deny the Facts”: An Epistemically Loaded Definition of “Fact”

Lecture 37 “I Had the Facts Wrong”: An Epistemically Neutral Definition of “Fact”

Lecture 38 Can There Be Theoretical Facts?

Lecture 39 Epistemically Loaded Definitions of “Law”

Lecture 40 Examples of Laws in Biology and Psychology

Lecture 41 Examples of Laws in Astronomy and Physics

Lecture 42 Unpacking the Neutral Concept of “Law”

Lecture 43 But Are There Any Laws?

Lecture 44 A Quick Word: Are Laws Explanatory?

Lecture 45 “That’s Just a Hypothesis”: An Epistemically Loaded Definition of “Hypothesis”

Lecture 46 An Epistemically Neutral Definition of “Hypothesis”

Lecture 47 Introduction: What is a Model?

Lecture 48 Maps and Models

Lecture 49 Models as Tools For Reasoning About the World

Lecture 50 How Equations Can Be Models

Lecture 51 Is There a Difference Between a Model and a Theory?

Lecture 52 Introduction: Theories, Models, Truth and Reality

Lecture 53 The Challenge of Interpreting Scientific Theories

Lecture 54 Prediction and Truth: Lessons from Ptolemy

Lecture 55 Prediction and Truth: Lessons From the Kinetic Theory of Gases

Lecture 56 Assignment: Critique a 7 Minute Video on the Vocabulary of Science

Lecture 57 Here’s the Video: “Fact vs. Theory vs. Hypothesis vs. Law … EXPLAINED!”

Lecture 58 1. The Motivation For the Video

Lecture 59 2. “Scales of Truthiness”

Lecture 60 3. The Fundamental Error

Lecture 61 4. The Problem With Defining Facts in Terms of Observations

Lecture 62 5. Problems With Defining Hypotheses as Starting Points For Inquiry

Lecture 63 6. Problems With Defining Theories as Well-Supported

Lecture 64 7. Problems With Defining Evolution as an Observable Fact

Lecture 65 8. Problems With Defining Laws in Terms of Observations

Lecture 66 9. Can Laws Explain, or Do They Just Describe? Kepler, Newton and Einstein

Lecture 67 10. Analyzing the Last Slide

Lecture 68 11. Who is to Blame?

Section 8: Special Topics

Lecture 69 Critical Thinking About Conspiracies – PDF Ebook

Lecture 70 Critical Thinking About Conspiracies (I): Introduction

Lecture 71 Critical Thinking About Conspiracies (II): The Argument for Default Skepticism

Lecture 72 Critical Thinking About Conspiracies (III): Mind Control and Falsifiability

Lecture 73 Causation, God and the Big Bang – PDF Ebook

Lecture 74 Causation, God and the Big Bang

Lecture 75 Five Reasons to Major in Philosophy – PDF Ebook

Lecture 76 Five Reasons to Major in Philosophy

Section 9: Basic Concepts in Logic and Argumentation

Lecture 77 Basic Concepts in Logic and Argumentation – PDF Ebook

Lecture 78 What is an Argument?

Lecture 79 What is a Claim, or Statement?

Lecture 80 What is a Good Argument? (I)

Lecture 81 Identifying Premises and Conclusions

Lecture 82 The Truth Condition

Lecture 83 The Logic Condition

Lecture 84 Valid vs Invalid Arguments

Lecture 85 Strong vs Weak Arguments

Lecture 86 What is a Good Argument? (II)

Lecture 87 Deductive Arguments and Valid Reasoning

Lecture 88 Inductive Arguments and Invalid Reasoning

Lecture 89 Induction and Scientific Reasoning

Section 10: Basic Concepts in Propositional Logic

Lecture 90 Basic Concepts in Propositional Logic – PDF Ebook

Lecture 91 Introduction

Lecture 92 Conjunctions (A and B)

Lecture 93 Disjunctions (A or B)

Lecture 94 Conditionals (If A then B)

Lecture 95 Contradictories (not-A)

Lecture 96 Contradictories vs Contraries

Lecture 97 Contradictions (A and not-A)

Lecture 98 Consistent vs Inconsistent Sets of Claims

Lecture 99 not-(not-A)

Lecture 100 not-(A and B)

Lecture 101 not-(A or B)

Lecture 102 not-(If A then B)

Lecture 103 A if B

Lecture 104 A only if B

Lecture 105 A if and only if B

Lecture 106 A unless B

Lecture 107 The Contrapositive: If not-B then not-A

Lecture 108 (not-A) or B

Lecture 109 Necessary and Sufficient

Lecture 110 Categorical vs Propositional Logic

Lecture 111 All A are B

Lecture 112 Some A are B

Lecture 113 Only A are B

Lecture 114 The Square of Opposition

Section 11: Formal Fallacies: Common Valid and Invalid Argument Forms

Lecture 115 Formal Fallacies: Common Valid and Invalid Argument Forms – PDF Ebook

Lecture 116 Valid Forms Using OR

Lecture 117 Invalid Forms Using OR

Lecture 118 Modus Ponens

Lecture 119 Modus Tollens

Lecture 120 Hypothetical Syllogism

Lecture 121 Affirming the Consequent

Lecture 122 Denying the Antecedent

Lecture 123 Valid and Invalid Forms Using ALL

Lecture 124 Valid and Invalid Forms Using SOME

Section 12: Informal Fallacies: A Guided Tour

Lecture 125 Informal Fallacies: A Guided Tour – PDF Ebook

Lecture 126 What is a Fallacy?

Lecture 127 Categorizing Fallacies: Pros and Cons

Lecture 128 The Rules of Rational Argumentation

Lecture 129 Ad Hominem (Abusive)

Lecture 130 Ad Hominem (Guilt by Association)

Lecture 131 Appeal to Hypocrisy (tu quoque)

Lecture 132 Appeal to Popular Belief (or Practice)

Lecture 133 Appeal to Authority

Lecture 134 False Dilemma

Lecture 135 Slippery Slope

Lecture 136 Straw Man

Lecture 137 Red Herring

Lecture 138 Begging the Question (Narrow Sense)

Lecture 139 Begging the Question (Broad Sense)

Section 13: Reasoning with Probabilities: What is Probability?

Lecture 140 What is Probability? – PDF Ebook

Lecture 141 Probability: Why Learn This Stuff?

Lecture 142 What is Inductive Logic?

Lecture 143 Probability as a Mathematical Object vs What That Object Represents

Lecture 144 Classical Probability

Lecture 145 Logical Probability

Lecture 146 Frequency Interpretations

Lecture 147 Subjective (Bayesian) Probability

Lecture 148 Propensity Interpretations

Section 14: Reasoning with Probabilities: The Rules

Lecture 149 The Rules for Reasoning with Probabilities – PDF Ebook

Lecture 150 What Has a Probability? Propositions vs Events

Lecture 151 Probabilities Range Between 0 and 1

Lecture 152 Mutually Exclusive Events

Lecture 153 Independent Events

Lecture 154 The Negation Rule: P(not-A)

Lecture 155 Restricted Disjunction Rule: P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B)

Lecture 156 General Disjunction Rule: P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B) – P(A and B)

Lecture 157 Restricted Conjunction Rule: P(A and B) = P(A) x P(B)

Lecture 158 General Conjunction Rule: P(A and B) = P(A) x P(B|A)

Lecture 159 General Conditional Probability Rule

Lecture 160 Total Probability Rule

Lecture 161 Bayes’ Rule

Lecture 162 Answers to Probability Theory Quiz Questions

Section 15: Fallacies of Probability and Judgment

Lecture 163 Introduction: Work in Progress …

Section 16: Coincidences: When the Impossible Becomes Inevitable

Lecture 164 Critical Thinking About Coincidences: Introduction

Lecture 165 The Basic Fallacy

Lecture 166 Borel’s Law: Understanding Impossible Events

Lecture 167 How to Create the Illusion of Miraculous Predictive Power

Lecture 168 The Birthday Problem, Lottery Coincidences, and the Power of Very Large Numbers

Section 17: The Gambler’s Fallacy: Bias, Randomness and the Illusion of Control

Lecture 169 Introduction

Lecture 170 The Basic Fallacy

Lecture 171 Fairness, Bias and Independence

Lecture 172 How Can You Tell Whether a Chance Setup is Unfair?

Lecture 173 The Physics of Coin Tosses

Lecture 174 Casino Games: Why the House Always Wins

Lecture 175 Cognitive Factors and the Psychology of Gambling

Section 18: The Small Sample Fallacy

Lecture 176 The Small Sample Fallacy: Looking for Causes of Statistical Artifacts

Section 19: How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay

Lecture 177 How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay – PDF Ebook

Lecture 178 Introduction

Lecture 179 A Minimal Five-Part Structure

Lecture 180 Writing the Introduction

Lecture 181 Writing the Conclusion

Lecture 182 The Essay: Should Teachers Be Allowed to Ban Laptops in Classrooms?

Lecture 183 Analysis: The Introduction

Lecture 184 Analysis: Main Body: First Argument

Lecture 185 Analysis: Main Body: Second Argument

Lecture 186 Analysis: Main Body: Third Argument

Lecture 187 Analysis: Main Body: Evaluation and Recommendations

Lecture 188 Analysis: The Conclusion

Lecture 189 The Essay: Improved Version

Lecture 190 The Essay: Improved Version with Commentary

Section 20: How to Cite Sources and Avoid Plagiarism

Lecture 191 How to Cite Sources and Avoid Plagiarism – PDF Ebook

Lecture 192 Introduction

Lecture 193 Plagiarism: The Basic Definition

Lecture 194 Downloading or Buying Whole Papers

Lecture 195 Cutting and Pasting From Several Sources

Lecture 196 Changing Some Words But Copying Whole Phrases

Lecture 197 Paraphrasing Without Attribution

Lecture 198 The Debate Over Patchwriting

Lecture 199 When Should I Cite a Source?

Lecture 200 What Needs to be Cited?

Lecture 201 How to Cite: Mark the Boundaries

Lecture 202 Citing Exact Words

Lecture 203 Citing a Longer Quotation

Lecture 204 Citing a Source But Not Quoting

Lecture 205 A Comment About Common Knowledge

Lecture 206 Citation Styles: MLA, APA, CSE, Chicago, Turabian

Section 21: Bonus Lecture

Lecture 207 Bonus Lecture: Other Courses I Teach, Podcasts I Produce, etc.

anyone who thinks that critical thinking is important and would like to learn more about it,anyone who is required to think and write argumentatively,anyone interested in the psychology of belief, judgment and persuasion,anyone interested in philosophy and who would like to learn more about philosophical ideas and methods,anyone taking a logic or philosophy class who would like to brush up on their basic logic and argumentation skills,anyone interested in scientific debates, or the philosophy of science,anyone interested in tribalism and contemporary politics

Course Information:

Udemy | English | 19h 33m | 7.71 GB
Created by: Kevin deLaplante

You Can See More Courses in the Teaching & Academics >> Greetings from

New Courses

Scroll to Top