January – Critical Thinking in the 21st Century: Essential Skills Everyone Should Master, with Dr. Richard Carrier

Richard Carrier (Ph.D., Columbia University) will provide instruction and advice on the new skills now needed to become a good critical thinker in the 21st century in his new course “Critical Thinking in the 21st Century: Essential Skills Everyone Should Master” during January 2015.

Based on Dr. Carrier’s acclaimed presentation for the Secular Student Alliance [http://www.richardcarrier.info/CriticalThinking.html], this course will: teach students standard skills in traditional logic and fallacies; cover cognitive biases and how to detect and avoid them, including motivated reasoning and the problems associated with a political brain; Bayes’ Theorem, and Bayesian problem solving, for the non-mathematician, and other skills in reasoning about probability; learning how to see things from someone else’s perspective; and useful skills of self-examination, self-critique, and personal improvement in thinking and reasoning, for personal belief development and the acquisition of wisdom. Each student will be left with a complete toolbox of ideas and information to work with, which will make them sharper thinkers in every domain.

registration- $59
start/end dates – January 1 / January 31, 2015
DEADLINE for registration – January 5th

Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

Course Reading: The required course text (which students should purchase as soon as possible) is Ken Manktelow, Thinking and Reasoning: An Introduction to the Psychology of Reason, Judgment and Decision Making (available in paperback, or on kindle for either purchase or rent–make sure you select the desired option before purchase). All other course materials (articles and video lectures) will be provided for free.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If a pre-recorded video is posted, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

Richard Carrier
Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.