Understanding Fallacies

Understanding Fallacies

Spotting When We Get It Wrong

  • Overview
  • Instructor
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you
4 h 23 min
26 Episodes

One of the very few survival advantages that human beings have over most other animals is our ability to reason. But if we are going to use this survival advantage to our benefit, we had better learn to reason well. In this course, Dr. Ram Neta will use anecdotes and practical advice to help you learn how to avoid using (or being fooled by) common fallacies of logic and argument. 

What You'll Learn

  • What fallacies are and why we should learn about them

  • The ways in which fallacies weaken arguments and risk misunderstanding

  • How to spot fallacies, and how to deal with them

Supplementary Readings:

Think Again: How to Reason and Argue (Penguin Books in the UK and Oxford University Press in the US, 2018) 

Understanding Arguments, 9th Edition, Concise Version, by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Robert Fogelin (UA9) (Cengage, 2014)

see more
  • Ram Neta
    Ram Neta
    Professor of Philosophy at UNC Chapel Hill
PART 1: Fallacies of Unclarity
13 Episodes

What are fallacies, and why is it worthwhile to study the fallacies that people are most liable to make?

How can we identify which fallacies people are most liable to make? They turn out to be the fallacies that result from the subtle misuse of tools that are useful.

What are fallacies of unclarity, and why is unclarity not just a defect, but rather a useful tool in our language and thinking?

What is vagueness, and why is it crucial for both communication and for thinking?

What are paradoxes, and how can vagueness give rise to them?

How can the vagueness of terms like "significantly different" can give rise to Conceptual Slippery Slope Fallacies?

How can vagueness give rise to Fairness Slippery Slope Fallacies?

How can the vagueness of terms like “probably” give rise to Causal Slippery Slope Fallacies?

What is ambiguity, and why is it necessary for communication and thought?

There are two kinds of ambiguity – Semantic and Syntactic Ambiguity – why is one harder to spot than the other?

How can ambiguity give rise to Fallacies of Equivocation?

How can we distinguish fallacies that result from unclarity in our language vs. from fallacies that result from unclarity about our language?

Recommended for you

Got questions? We've got the answers
  • What is Himalaya?
    Himalaya is an audio platform that delivers the inspiration and knowledge you need to achieve your most ambitious goals. In just 10 minutes a day, you’ll learn the secrets of happiness, success, and more from some of the world's highest achievers and thought leaders. From our powerful life stories to high-impact courses, you'll find what you need to get inspired and get ahead.
  • Is there a free version that I can try out?
    By default, you’ll have 7 days after signing up before you are charged. You may also be given some promo codes with a longer free trial period. During the free trial period (7 days or longer), you will have full access to all paid content in Himalaya Learning.
  • How can I redeem a promo code?
    You can edit your promo code on the checkout page. Go to https://www.himalaya.com/premium/us and select "Start 7-day free trial". You need to register your account or log in to your account before you go to the checkout page. Click “Have a promo code to apply?” and replace the default promo code with the code you have.
  • Why do you need my credit card?
    In order to verify your identity, we require credit card validation upfront. We'll never charge your card until the free trial period is over. And unless you'd like to cancel, no further action will be needed on your part to begin recurring monthly payments as an official Himalaya listener! If you ever have any questions about payments or charges, please don’t hesitate to contact us at support@himalaya.com. We’ll help you solve your problem as fast as we can.
  • How do I cancel my free trial?
    1. On desktop: Go to https://www.himalaya.com; click your username on the upper right corner, and select “Membership” from the drop-down list; Click your active membership, then click on "Next Billing Date >" and "Cancel Subscription" 2. On Android mobile: In the app, go to "account" and choose the “member details” page, then choose to unsubscribe; 3. On iOS mobile: If you initially subscribe on the web, you cannot cancel it on the iOS mobile app. You need to follow the instructions for cancellation on desktop; if you subscribe via the iOS mobile, you can also turn off the automatic renewal via the iTunes/Apple ID settings.
  • How do I cancel my subscription?
    Subscribed from the Website?
    You can click here to unsubscribe. If you cancel the subscription during the trial period, it will not automatically renew; if you cancel the subscription after successful renewal, the next deduction cycle will not automatically renew.
    Subscribed from IOS or Android apps?
    You can cancel the subscription through Apple or Google Play settings. If you cancel the subscription 48 hours before the expiration of the trial period, the subscription will not be automatically renewed; if you cancel the subscription after successful renewal, the next deduction cycle will not be automatically renewed. You can find detailed information on how to unsubscribe from the link below:Cancel a subscription from Apple  Cancel a subscription from Google Play

Himalaya Premium

Inspirational stories
Through our engaging, true-life stories, you can learn from the world’s most extraordinary people.
High-impact courses
Knowledge really is power, and our courses give you the insights you need to get ahead.
Emotional Boosts
Sometimes, all we need is the right encouragement at the right time—at Himalaya, we’ve got you covered.