Online Course


  1. Overview of the Course and RRAR! Method
  2. RRAR! Worksheet
  3. Notes on Pedagogy for Instructors

Part 1: Fundamentals of Good Reasoning

A. Basic Components of Arguments

  1. Arguments, Premises, and Conclusions
  2. Premise Indicators, Serial and Convergent Premises, and Argument Diagrams
  3. Dependent/Linked Premises

B. Obstacles and Core Concepts

  1. Systems of Belief and Kinds of Audiences
  2. Biases and Conflicts of Interest
  3. Confirmation Bias, Total Evidence Requirement, and Falsificationism
  4. Relevance: Contextual Relevance: Straw man, Red Herring, and Moving the Goalposts
  5. Acceptability: Burden of Proof and Conditions of Premise Acceptability
  6. Assessing Online Sources and Debunking
    1. How to Avoid being Fooled Online and List of Reliable Websites by Topic
    2. Classroom Activity

Part 2: Basics of Formal Reasoning

  1. Validity, Soundness, Sufficiency, and Inductive vs Deductive Arguments
  2. Conditional Reasoning 1: Modus Ponens, Modus Tollens.
  3. Hidden Assumptions, Enthymemes, and Making Inductive Arguments Valid

Part 3: Relevance, Acceptability, and Relativity Revisited: How to Mislead without Lying

  1. Vagueness, Ambiguity, Fallacies of Equivocation, Composition, and Division
  2. Failures of Relevance 1: Ad Hominem, Genetic Fallacy, Poisoning the Well, Tu Quoque, Argument from Ancient Wisdom/Tradition, Naturalistic Fallacies
  3. Failures of Relevance 2: Ad Populum (Appeal to Popularity), Appeal to Emotion, Appeal to Unqualified Authority
  4. Misleading with Language: Comparisons, Weasel Words, Enthymemes, and Other Rhetorical Tricks
  5. Relativity: Misleading with Numbers 1

Part 4: Inductive Reasoning and Common Argument Structures

  1. Generalizations and Associated Problems: Part 1
  2. Generalizations, Polls, and Measurement Errors: Part 2
  3. Statistical Syllogisms and Mean, Median, and Distribution
  4. Causal Reasoning 1: Mill’s Methods and Common Errors
    1. Bonus: More Kinds of Measurement Errors
  5. Causal Reasoning 2: Abductive Reasoning and More Common Errors
  6. Pseudoscience vs Science: Examples and Causes of Belief
  7. Scientific Reasoning and Clinical Trial Design
  8. Causal Reasoning 3: Arguments from Ignorance and Personal Incredulity, and Anomaly Hunting