The Philosopher's Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Professor! I'm only half way through the course, but I needed to write a review now. This is one of the best courses I have had so far. Professor Grim clearly explains concets, gives great examples, and even quizes you on what you have learned. I took philosophy and logic in college over 35 years ago, but this course is better. I'm going to watch it again.
Date published: 2020-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good title Learned a lot. The professor great at explaining and using visuals to illustrate the logic behind the course. Loved his sense of dry humor.
Date published: 2020-01-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dull! The man looks nervous and recites instead of talking.
Date published: 2019-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid While some of this was pretty simple, overall this was an excellent overview of the basic and common principles of critical and rational thinking. I originally bought the audio version, but returned it for the video version because there are many visual examples and puzzles. Some lectures would make no sense without video.
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved the course. I had a course in college on Rhetoric and Speech Analysis that covered a lot of this material, but it included a lot of writing. For me, this was a well presented review with current and practical examples of the concepts. I listened to it once and partially watched it so far. I will watch it in its entirely. I do not like videos, but there are a few visual examples he presents that are best seen at least once. Of course, the examples or in the book that came with it, that I intend to read during an upcoming break. There are interesting exercises in the book that I intend to try as well. This has been probably my favorite Great Courses program yet.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I listen to all the lectures and it was clear this is not a course suitable for audio since the speaker often refers to slides he is projecting for video screen.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simplify, simplify and visualize An excellent and very didactic course. There are several remarkable lectures; Thinking with models and the power of visualization. Indeed, a great course.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Philosopher's Took Kit. I was very well pleased by this wide ranging program. The professor presents the material in a clearly understandable way and with very practical suggestions for applying the material covered. I highly recommend this program.
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable overview I recently completed this course, and found it one of the most enjoyable of the Great Courses I have watched or listened to so far. Professor Grimm does a great job illustrating concepts with examples, and he makes tough concepts clear. Of necessity, he goes quickly over some topics that could be much more involved, but I think he does quite well at the stated objective of discussing tools to help one think more rationally and avoid common pitfalls.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Practical and comprehensive Watched the whole course in a few days. I liked the exercises for students. The professor used understandable language, but did not shy away from some complex areas. I learned from this course.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! DVD This is a much more interesting course than I expected. After all, how seriously could anyone take the claim that the course could make one “the Most Rational Person in Any Room”? That might be too much to expect of even a TC course. After viewing the course, however, I am sure that employing what one learns from these twenty-four lectures will improve one’s understanding and performance both in and out of that room. Perhaps the most important aspect of this course is Professor Grim’s emphasis on how we make mistakes, detailing “…conceptual biases that mislead us all—and how we can compensate for those biases” (Course Guidebook, Page 2). This course is exceptionally useful today, beset as we are by advertisers, news media, and politicians claiming all kinds things. Though Professor Grim focuses on individual rationality most of the time, he also deals significantly with “social rationality” reflected in argument and debate. In this regard, he shows us how rhetoric is often employed to sway us, even bringing in nineteenth century philosopher Schopenhauer’s thirty-eight rhetorical tricks to win an argument by any means possible. This really hit the mark for what we see around us today. Some may be put off by a few of the early lectures that deal with formal logic, peppered with lots of diagrams, but that is a necessary prelude to the opening of the course into a much-wider discussion of how to analyze what we see or hear in everyday life. It is not all just thinking. Due regard is paid to the emotions and, even more so, to the power of visualization. I particularly enjoyed the treatment of and fine examples for the lectures on probability, the supposed wisdom-of-crowds, the spin often put on statistics, the limits of the scientific method, and thinking with models (especially regarding patterns of residential segregation). Though prominent philosophers are mentioned throughout the course, the final lecture does an excellent job in summarizing their contributions. Lecture twenty-four might even be a good place to start. Professor Grim is a fine lecturer and employs great examples, graphics/illustrations, videos, and interactive segments to good effect. Though the 249-page guidebook is excellent and includes most of the diagrams found in the video, I do not know if I would have enjoyed and/or picked up as much in the audio only version. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2016-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worthwhile for Anyone Who Thinks. Seriously. This is a very well done overview of the usually unspoken and too often underutilized characteristics of rational thought. (Cf. our current political climate.) I sincerely recommend it for anyone who thinks, and I am not trying to be cute in saying this; the more we are aware of the operations of good thinking, the more we can recognize and correct ourselves when we go astray. I will not review the areas covered; others have done this well, I do agree that little here is deep, and much will seem obvious once it is mentioned. That is perhaps the point - all of us can and should understand this material, if only we would make the effort. As a small aside, I would characterize a great deal of the subject matter as psychology rather than philosophy, but these subjects seem to be dancing closer together these days. (Did you know there is a field of experimental philosophy?) Professor Grim is superb. He speaks clearly and eloquently, and is a pleasure to listen to. The course is well-organized and focused. The Course Guidebook is excellent, and includes a glossary as well as an annotated bibliography. The video included a fair number of charts and other visualizations of the material which I found quite helpful. So - please take this course, and put it to use. We will all benefit.
Date published: 2016-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent content and presentation. Far from being purely academic, this course gave helpful information, analyses, and tips to add to one's rationality and logic in practical terms.
Date published: 2016-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Re-calibrate your thinking DVD Review If you have experience in logic and/or analytic methods, then this course will likely not expose you to much new materiel, but it will certainly set the materiel in such a context that it will cause you to reflect on your own deliberate cognitive methods and background cognitive habits. If you do not have prior experience in logic or analytic methods then I have to believe this course will be most revelatory both in terms of facts and concepts and will result in the same salutary effect as for those with experience. Dr. Grim follows his normal entertaining form; he is a model teacher by all measures. If you haven’t viewed his other courses, then I will brazenly plug for them here: take them. Of note, much of the materiel in this course overlaps with Dr. Grim’s “Philosophy of Mind” course, albeit provided in the context of how one can apply the materiel to your everyday thinking; therefore, they nicely complement each other. The bottom line is that everyone, regardless of background, will benefit from this course; it is a great investment.
Date published: 2016-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Watch this before you get into your next argument There's nothing quite like a course that makes you feel just that little bit smarter at the end than you did at the beginning! This is a very valuable course. It delivers on its promise to provide a toolkit for reevaluating how you explore the world in a more critical and logical way. The initial lectures exploring the historical context of philosophy are denser than the later ones, but still provide a necessary and interesting grounding for the course. This is one course too where it's useful to refer to the course notes and do the suggested exercises as you go along. Professor Grim is an engaging and highly entertaining lecturer.
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent tools for critical thinking I enjoyed this course. Professor Grim is an excellent teacher. A lot of the material was not new to me, but the way those topics were presented gave me a new perspective. I will try and incorporate the material that I didn’t know into my decision making in the future. Like so many things in life, it takes practice and time to change the way you think (e.g. keeping an open mind debating an issue). The tools presented to help you think critically and reason are practical and I feel most people would benefit from watching the course. I watched lecture 16, about advertising, with my 13 year old son and we have lots of fun picking commercials apart now. I agree with another reviewer that the lectures on logic are excellent. That was one of the subjects that I’ve studied, but hadn’t really put the pieces together in such an organized and practical way. I don’t think any prerequisites are necessary for this course and I definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2015-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from useful course This course is a bargain for what I paid for it. Especially, the section on fallacious arguments. I don't think I can listen to a politician again without trying to figure out "how" he is lying. BTW, President Obama's favorite tactic is the straw man. However, I am still trying to find an answer to the age old question, "What is proof?". The professor suggests the only iron clad 100 percent proof will be found in mathematics and in syllogisms where the conclusions are correct if the premises are correct. This is troubling to me. Everything else requires belief to some degree. Hopefully, our "experts" apportion their belief to the evidence.
Date published: 2015-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Philosopher's Toolkit While the word "Logic" does not appear in the title, this is the best course in logic I have ever been through. I would highly recommend it to my friends, family, and students.
Date published: 2015-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Helpful reminder to make rational decisions The course summary hits the nail on its head with its short description of what the course is about. Every day, we have to make decisions about our actions, and unfortunately, they are not always based on rationality. Professor Grimm makes the student aware of it and explains why we make wrong decisions — be it due to our own fault or due to being fooled. I find that many lectures cover very practical applications and observations (e.g., heuristics, rhetoric, bogus arguments, advertisements, statistics), and that was the part I liked a lot about this course. Especially the use of rhetoric and all the fallacies we fall for affect us on an almost daily basis in our life when watching or reading news, when watching TV, and in our conversations on the workroom-floor or with friends and family. However, some of the lessons are rather theoretical, and while they are interesting and fitting, their every-day usefulness is somehow limited, even though they surely deserve to be covered in the course (e.g., categorical propositions, game theory). The theoretical content is kept at a rather basic level. Topics like probability and decision theory are described understandably for the average person without becoming too difficult to follow, which is adequate for the main goal of the course. Due to the logical structure of the content, many of the rather theoretical lessons are in the beginning. Thus, I personally struggled slightly to make it through about the first third of the lectures, before I began enjoying the course — the content was just at times a bit tedious in my opinion. Professor Grimm’s presentation is excellent. He speaks very fluently without much slip of tongue and without any bad habits that distract the viewer. He is very comfortable with the changing views of the camera, and his voice is pleasant. Overall, this is an excellent course that addresses the most common reasons for making bad decisions and gives helpful recommendations to become a more rational person.
Date published: 2015-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very worthwhile course This is the second course I have purchased by Dr. Grim. Both have been quite good. This course, while perhaps it could be considered a survey course, is very stimulating and has motivated me to explore in more detail various of the lecture topics. The course book is useful for post lecture reading to reinforce and sometimes expand on the lecture topic. Dr. Grim presents topics clearly and uses helpful on-screen aids to explain details, such as Aristotle's Square of Opposition, Venn diagrams, etc. Many years ago my undergraduate minor was philosophy. I think that Dr. Grim would have been an excellent addition to that department.
Date published: 2015-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Philosopher's Toolkit This is a good course for one who is familiar with philosophical vocabulary. It is well organized, has numerous examples to make the content meaningful for the lay person. That said, for me, this material would have to viewed a couple times to get the most from the course. For many, this course can be very valuable, for others, like me I feel left behind at times. The pace is good but I guess I don't have the interest in the subject to keep up.
Date published: 2015-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Did exactly what it promised! It was a great course, mostly because it explored many different ways which one can Think Rationally. Providing numerous tools for doing so. It was also really practical, because all courses included examples and questions that stimulated me to try these tools and come-up with not just an answer but an attitude to solve real life problems and decisions by using them. Presentation of lecturer was also exceptional, with lots of passion for subject and wise choices.
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great lecturer, good content, fair format The Philospher's Tookkit was the 10th course i've heard from The Great Courses. My lecture hall is the inside of my car on weekdays or some part of the backyard on weekends. It's a calm place where I can listen attentively, but it is not a place where I can focus my visual attention. For these reasons I only download audio courses and only those that "work well in either format". Unfortunately, Toolkit does not work great in audio format. TGC noted in their blurb that the course was the audio portion of lecture series, and since I like the topic, I decided to give it a try anyway. I now know I should probably not download courses with this description, that is, if I want to get the most out of it. There were some lectures where you really need to see what he's talking about to fully get what he's saying. The lecturer, Patrick Grim, is great. I would definitely listen his other offerings (if there are any) assuming the correct format. I wish I had his speaking voice, and his ability to lecture. Among the 10 courses I've listened to, he has the best speaking ability of all of them. He could easily be a network news anchor. His voice carries clarity, authority, and credibility. The course content was good. Though he covers mostly familiar ground from the variety of courses I've taken previously, he does it well, and since I'm not that smart I like some reinforcement from another perspective. But this is not to say it was all review, not by a long way. Overall the content was interesting, useful and provided insights into how we know things. Though I'll never be the most rational person in the room, this course did move me up a couple of slots.
Date published: 2014-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Get it if youre a nerd like me!! this was the first GL course that I took, and was pleased with the results. i listened the courses on my way to work and found it a great start to my day, especially this course, which helped my technical reasoning. this course does a great job with intertwining "boring" yet highly important and foundational skills of logic with practical, real-world applications. the lecturer is excellent: he is an expert in his field, and this is proven by his ability to explain things lucidly and easily - a true mark of a great teacher who understand the fundamentals and all mechanisms at play. he also does a great job of realizing that formal, theoretical knowledge is not enough, and he complements the theory with interesting research, practical tools, and anecdotal stories. the thought exercises during lectures are also very illustrative. furthermore, the coursebook is great because i could not take notes on my drive/metro to work, so i could focus on just listening and could recap the lecture afterwards with the coursebook summary. very, very great job, both by the lecturer as well as great courses for this amazing resource.
Date published: 2014-11-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too basic for my taste This is the first series I have returned. I worked my way through the first five or six lectures but found them too obvious and at what I would consider a middle school or junior high school level. I was hoping for undergraduate level. If I had received this in first year university, I would have complained and withdrawn. The examples are just too obvious. I did skip ahead to a later lecture on statistics and data representation but did not find it challenging enough. It covered things like adjusting scale on a diagram and how it misrepresents facts - way too simple. Why three stars? The professor is superb. His mannerisms and explanation are the best I've seen on a TTC course. He is direct and ambiguous and a pleasure to listen to and watch. I just didn't learn anything that common sense hadn't already told me; I got no new insights. My kids would have liked this in Grade 9 or 10.
Date published: 2014-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tedious start; Brilliant finish I found the first six lectures so tedious that I almost discontinued the course. However, I persisted and found the subsequent eighteen lectures to be brilliant. The final lectures; bogus arguments, use of statistics, use of probability in game theory and decision-making, explanation of the scientific method, and finally--lessons from the great thinkers--were brilliant! One lesson from the great philosophers--be persistent. I am glad I persisted with this excellent course.
Date published: 2013-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Substantial! In this series of lectures, Professor Patrick Grim succeeds in presenting simply the various facets of rationality: Aristotelian logic, heuristics, probability, the scientific method, etc. He also discusses irrational approaches, such as many found in advertising and rhetoric in general. His lectures not only include presentations but are also based on a workshop approach whereby he introduces questions or problems and asks the listener to press the ‘pause’ button and think things through. This original feature certainly enhances what one actually retains from the course. The potential buyer should be aware that the audio version is in fact the soundtrack of the video edition and that many references to tables and charts are therefore lost and require an additional effort by the listener. Overall, however, this series is very worthwhile and should prove interesting to all.
Date published: 2013-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant The best thing I've found anywhere on rhetoric, logical thinking and discernment. Pair it with a general grammar course and call it the Trivium.
Date published: 2013-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Much Better Than I Thought It Would Be Don't let the title fool you....Dr. Grim may be a professor of philosophy, and this course does touch on the thoughts of greatest philosophers in history, but this is really a 24 lecture mental toolkit on thinking rationally, identifying and avoiding fallacies, biases, and traps in statistical thinking, and much, much more. Grim's presentation style is clear, cogent, easy to follow, unemotional, with no annoying quirks such as repetitive head or hand movements, or overly dramatic speech styles that other lecturers have subjected me to. It will fit nicely on my bookshelf with the other courses in rational thinking that I have recommended below. This course is more than a toolkit, it's a guide for navigating an increasingly complicated world. I highly recommend this to everyone.
Date published: 2013-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well stocked toolbox This is one of the best programs I have watched in over 15 years of being a customer. Professor Grim blends intellect, imagination and creativity, not only as he presents his lectures, but he teaches how to connect with those tools, through practical examples and thought experiments throughout the course. You will have to get used to his presence as the professor evokes, at least in me, a quaint image of an American West gentleman of the late 19th Century who may have sat down to play poker with Wyatt Earp.
Date published: 2013-09-08
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The Philosopher's Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room
Course Trailer
How We Think and How to Think Better
1: How We Think and How to Think Better

Thinking is fundamental to our daily lives, and this introduction surveys the philosopher's toolkit, strategies to improve our thinking-visualization, simplification, the principles of debate, and techniques for social reasoning. Because the best philosophy is done in conjunction with other disciplines, you'll apply these tools to economics, psychology, and more.

33 min
Cool Rationality and Hot Thought
2: Cool Rationality and Hot Thought

Which is a better tool for decision making, reason or emotion? As this lecture argues, both cool rationality and hot emotion have their place. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each can help us make better decisions, both in the heat of a moment and during long-term analysis.

30 min
The Strategy of Visualization
3: The Strategy of Visualization

Pull out your pen and paper and put "conceptual visualization" to work. Humans excel at pattern recognition, and what we see in our mind's eye can aid us in solving even the most daunting of puzzles, from the Pythagorean theorem to Special Relativity. You'll see how sketches and matrices are powerful aids for information management.

30 min
Visualizing Concepts and Propositions
4: Visualizing Concepts and Propositions

Explore the most basic elements of thought to prepare for the coming lectures. Concepts are the atoms of thought, expressed by words and illustrated by Venn diagrams and concept trees. Words form sentences-or propositions-which are the molecules of thought. Together, concepts and propositions provide a structural framework to express thought and convey information.

30 min
The Power of Thought Experiments
5: The Power of Thought Experiments

Harness the power of your imagination with this hands-on lecture, which introduces several strategies for solving real-world problems with thought experiments. As lessons from economics, business, ethics, and physics show, the imagination is one of our finest tools for exploring reality.

29 min
Thinking like Aristotle
6: Thinking like Aristotle

So far, the course has emphasized visual techniques for logical thinking. In this lecture you'll discover one of the greatest developments of human thought. Aristotle's "square of oppositions" is the core of our logical system and provides a bridge to connect visualization with the flow of rational argument.

30 min
Ironclad, Airtight Validity
7: Ironclad, Airtight Validity

What makes an argument valid? Continue your study of Aristotelian logic by looking at how propositions form airtight arguments. By mapping out the logic of syllogisms with Venn diagrams, you'll enhance your deductive reasoning skills-and you'll see that the unfortunate trade-off for an absolutely airtight syllogism is that it doesn't really offer any new information.

31 min
Thinking outside the Box
8: Thinking outside the Box

Creativity can't be taught, but it can be cultivated. Take a break from the traditional lecture with this enjoyable workshop on creative, sideways thinking. Here you'll participate in a number of engaging exercises designed to break your standard habits of thought and help you solve problems by thinking outside the box.

29 min
The Flow of Argument
9: The Flow of Argument

Ironclad, deductive syllogisms won't get us very far in terms of new information, so this lecture looks beyond that simple framework and introduces you to the flow of complex arguments. By understanding logical "flow," you'll have the tools to determine an argument's strengths and weaknesses. Is the conclusion inescapable, or merely probable? How "sound" is the argument?

30 min
Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart
10: Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart

Dive into the world of heuristics, simple rules of thumb that guide us through immediate decisions when we lack the time needed for logical analysis. You'll reflect on the wisdom of crowds, find out why German college students do better than Americans on U.S. demographic quizzes, and consider the utility of "good enough" solutions.

31 min
Why We Make Misteaks
11: Why We Make Misteaks

The bad news is that to err is human. Thanks to information biases, selective memories, and unreliable heuristics, systematic error is built into the way we think. The good news is that once we become aware of these biases, we can compensate for them. This lecture shows you how.

29 min
Rational Discussion in a Polarized Context
12: Rational Discussion in a Polarized Context

How do you have a rational discussion with someone with a radically different viewpoint? Political polarization is real, and media gives us instant access to slanted sources. Here you'll unpack several negotiation strategies to reconcile two sides in an argument-and examine the signs of a hopelessly irrational discussion.

30 min
Rhetoric versus Rationality
13: Rhetoric versus Rationality

Guard yourself against the perils of rhetoric. By learning the ins and outs of ethos, pathos, and logos, you'll be prepared to parry manipulative rhetoric as it comes-especially from the broadcast media. You'll also develop your ability to visualize patterns of exchange, which can assist you with making persuasive presentations.

30 min
Bogus Arguments and How to Defuse Them
14: Bogus Arguments and How to Defuse Them

Tour the world of bad arguments. From ad hominem attacks to false alternatives and hasty generalizations, this lecture presents the most common logical fallacies and offers you the chance to test your knowledge against a myriad of examples. But be forewarned: There's no guarantee that a bad argument is committing just one fallacy.

28 min
The Great Debate
15: The Great Debate

Continue to hone your argumentative skills by evaluating a debate over the future of freedom and democracy. You'll analyze the rhetoric and see the strategies at work in a real back-and-forth, and you'll come away with a sharpened ear for appeals to emotion, syllogisms, and other rhetorical techniques of persuasion.

29 min
Outwitting the Advertiser
16: Outwitting the Advertiser

Recommended by doctors! Low fat! Call today! The world of advertising is filled with psychological manipulation, misleading half-truths, and magic words designed to get us to buy. This lecture cuts through the spin to show us the advertiser's favorite techniques, from beautiful spokespeople to empty messaging.

30 min
Putting a Spin on Statistics
17: Putting a Spin on Statistics

Facts and stats are clear and objective, right? Of course not. Statistics are great because they give us information in an easy-to-understand way, but they can also be dangerously misleading. Something as simple as the choice between mean, median, and mode can skew the facts. The ability to evaluate statistics allows you to draw your own conclusions.

32 min
Poker, Probability, and Everyday Life
18: Poker, Probability, and Everyday Life

Life is filled with chance, and unfortunately it's not as easy to navigate as counting face cards. This survey of probability will allow you to deal with chance more rationally. You'll study the law of large numbers, how to calculate the probability of one or more events, and the gambler's fallacy that keeps casinos in business.

29 min
Decisions, Decisions
19: Decisions, Decisions

Turn your attention to decision theory, the surefire way to make the most rational decision with the evidence you have. The key is to maximize expected utility. Doing so can tell you everything from which wine to buy for a dinner party to how to respond to an influenza outbreak. Pascal even used decision theory to determine his belief in God.

30 min
Thinking Scientifically
20: Thinking Scientifically

What's the difference between real science and pseudoscience? What's wrong with astrology and phrenology? Find out how to build your own pseudoscience, complete with ambiguous phenomena and post-hoc modifications, so you'll know what to watch out for when you're presented with something that looks like science but doesn't pass the test of a rigorous scientific theory.

30 min
Put It to the Test-Beautiful Experiments
21: Put It to the Test-Beautiful Experiments

Analyzing the structure of scientific experiments is an important part of the philosopher's toolkit. The risks, power, and limits of experimentation can help you back your own claims and evaluate the claims of others. Here you'll examine the parts of a good experiment-control groups, randomized testing, and what to do with unexpected results

31 min
Game Theory and Beyond
22: Game Theory and Beyond

Where decision theory leaves off, game theory begins. This lecture walks you through the techniques of decision making in a social context. You'll look at the cooperation and competition inherent to the Prisoner's Dilemma, and you'll reflect on behavioral economics, a field that studies irrational action.

30 min
Thinking with Models
23: Thinking with Models

Synthesize the earlier lectures on visualization, simplification, and thought experiments and check out the benefits of thinking with models. The three-stage model-input, mechanism, and output-is a great way to put your toolkit strategies to work, whether you want to predict tomorrow's weather, explain why the moon exists, or understand segregated neighborhoods.

30 min
Lessons from the Great Thinkers
24: Lessons from the Great Thinkers

Conclude the course with a journey through the minds of great thinkers from Plato and Aristotle to Darwin and Einstein. You'll consider what made them great thinkers, and you'll pick up a few tips to improve your own thinking.

33 min
Patrick Grim

In the end, imagining a world of fact without value is quite nearly impossible for creatures like us. Our lives are woven in terms of the things we value.


Boston University


State University of New York, Stony Brook

About Patrick Grim

Dr. Patrick Grim is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He graduated with highest honors in anthropology and philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was named a Fulbright Fellow to the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, from which he earned his B.Phil. He earned his Ph.D. from Boston University. Professor Grim is the recipient of several honors and awards. In addition to being named SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Dr. Grim has been awarded the President and Chancellor's awards for excellence in teaching and was elected to the Academy of Teachers and Scholars. The Weinberg Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan in 2006, Professor Grim has also held visiting fellowships at the Center for Complex Systems at Michigan and at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Grim, author of The Incomplete Universe: Totality, Knowledge, and Truth; coauthor of The Philosophical Computer: Exploratory Essays in Philosophical Computer Modeling; and editor of the forthcoming Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions, is widely published in scholarly journals. He is the founder and coeditor of 25 volumes of The Philosopher's Annual, an anthology of the best articles published in philosophy each year.

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