Whether you want to argue with libertarians on YouTube, engage in intra-left debates about tactics and strategy within activist and organizing spaces, or just get clear in your own head on the chain of reasoning that leads you to support socialist ideas and how you would respond to common objections to those ideas, an understanding of the fundamentals of formal and informal logic can be a powerful tool. In this class you'll learn how to avoid a number of common mistakes in reasoning and some important tools to break apart arguments and see if they work and, when they don't, where and how they go wrong. In a typical university critical reasoning class, you might do this by studying unrealistic stock examples--arguments no one would ever make in real life. Instead, in this course, we'll do it by talking about real arguments of interest to politically engaged radicals. We have a world to win, and thinking more clearly is one of many important tools in that struggle.
Ben Burgis is a philosophy instructor, a Jacobin columnist, and the author of "Give Them An Argument: Logic for the Left." He's taught a variety of formal and informal logic classes at the college level, and he's publicly debated centrists like Twitch streamer "Destiny" and Bloomberg Opinion's Noah Smith as well as libertarians and right-wingers like Stefan Molyneux, Gavin McGinness, Adam Kokesh, Gene Epstein, Dave Smith, and Yaron Brook.