Try a Free Trial of The Great Courses Plus and watch the full course here: https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/special-offer?utm_source=US_OnlineVideo&utm_medium=SocialMediaEditorialYouTube&utm_campaign=136240
It's a pleasure to welcome you to a series of 24 lectures on argumentation in which we'll explore the study of effective reasoning. Skillful argumentation, indeed, is an imperiled activity. In June of 2005, an op-ed editorial in the New York Times suggested that argumentation may be a lost art. It said people increasingly interact only with those who already agree with them. Differences of opinion are treated as unbridgeable. The result is to weaken opportunities for compromise, deliberation, and mutual understanding. Understanding and practicing argumentation is the antidote to these destructive behaviors. The difference between arguments that are productive—arguments in which people give claims, make claims, give reasons, exchange reasons—and arguments that are not—arguments that invoke all these negative stereotypes of bickering and quarreling—often is the understanding of the principles that underlie this common human activity. These lectures will enable us to understand the underlying principles and theories.
There are five specific goals that I hope you'll achieve through this series of lectures. First, we'll learn to recognize arguments when we see them. We'll learn a vocabulary that helps us to describe argumentation, not in order to give us a whole lot of jargon, but to enable us to understand and talk about what it is that people do when they argue. The first thing we'll do is, we'll learn how to recognize arguments; how to find them in conversations, in newspaper editorials, in speeches, in controversies of any kind; and how to know them when we see them.
Second, we'll become aware of how people, when they argue, make choices. Every time people engage in argumentation, they could go about it in lots of different ways, and they make choices. They may make them knowingly and deliberately or not, but they make choices. Hopefully, we will become aware of how arguing reflects choice, and we'll broaden our understanding of the choices that arguers can make, that you can make, when you build and construct arguments.
Third, we'll learn something about how to appraise arguments, how to evaluate them. We talk about good arguments, bad arguments, strong arguments, weak arguments, better arguments, worse arguments; and so, part of what we'll do is discuss how we make those judgments; how we evaluate arguments, what kinds of standards govern our assessment. We do that not simply to sit and pass judgment on others, but to get a good understanding of what can make our own arguments better, as well as to see weaknesses in arguments that we object to.
Fourth, in attempting all of these tasks, we're going to examine as examples a variety of historical and contemporary arguments; and so one of the things we'll do is we'll learn more about some significant controversies by looking at them from the perspective of argument.
Finally, as a result of all of these things, we should sensitize ourselves to argumentation theories, and as a result, you should be able to improve your ability both as an analyst and as a maker of arguments.
Here's the plan for doing this: the first four lectures, including this one, will review the assumptions underlying argumentation and the development of the field. Then, in lectures five through eleven, we'll explore the strategies and tactics of argument construction, attack, and defense. In the next seven lectures, we'll consider the components of argument in more detail and how they work. We'll take two lectures to investigate the concept of validity and fallacies; and finally, we'll investigate how argumentation functions in society. I am certainly looking forward to this series of lectures. I hope that you are as well.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel – we are adding new videos all the time! https://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=TheGreatCourses