thinkLAB Speaker Series 2023-2024

Fostering Enlightened Disagreements

In diverse, complex communities, disagreements inevitably arise. This speaker series asks: How can we navigate disagreements with curiosity, inclusivity, unity and common sense?

Schedule of Events

Systematizing Intellectual Empathy

Friday October 13, 2023 11:00 a.m. ET

Presented in partnership with AILACT

Zoom information available here.


“Intellectual charity” refers to a set of skills that students— especially undergraduates studying philosophy— are expected to use when engaging new and controversial arguments. To demonstrate intellectual charity, students are expected to (among other things): listen carefully, represent opposing arguments in a favorable light, show intellectual humility about their own ideas, and so on. Despite its complexity, until now the skills and steps of intellectual charity haven’t been systemized for structured, focused learning. Instead, students often learn how to be charitable by engaging in a series of classroom discussions with faculty who model charity, and by receiving feedback on assessments like essays in which students are expected to represent arguments charitably. How can we systematize intellectual charity for wider and more accessible and equitable learning? This talk will discuss a recent collaboration between edTech leaders, philosophers, and lifelong educators to clarify and systematize the skills of intellectual empathy— our approach to intellectually charitable reading and listening.

Disagree to Agree: Two Tools for Teaching the Art of Productive Dialogue

Tuesday November 2, 2023 3:30 p.m. ET

Register Here


Teaching productive disagreement requires helping students learn how to integrate analytical skills and soft skills, such as active listening and empathetic reasoning. My talk will showcase two tried-and-true methods, employed in Notre Dame’s God and the Good Life class, aimed at honing the latter skillset. Paired with ThinkerAnalytix – a powerful tool for critical reasoning – these methods enable students to participate in meaningful dialogues centered on disagreement. Specifically, we’ll explore our unique “Dialogue Training” program and the Center for Applied Rationality’s “Double Crux” method. After summarizing what the tools are and how they work, I’ll provide resources for educators interested in implementing these tools within their own courses, thus empowering students to navigate productive disagreements effectively.

Abstract & registration information coming soon!

Previous Talks

The Importance of Reasoning in the Age of AI

Tuesday September 12, 2023 6:00 p.m. ET

Link to Recording

As artificial intelligence has emerged into society, seemingly overnight, educators have become aware of the potential drawbacks of this technology―plagiarism, cheating, and the rapid obsolescence of traditional assignments, to name a few. These are valid concerns, but there are also tremendous benefits to be realized from AI in the classroom. AI and the Future of Education author Priten Shah will discuss how you can embrace artificial intelligence to meet students’ needs, with a particular focus on leveraging AI to build students’ reasoning skills.

Priten Shah, CEO, Pedagogy.Cloud

About the Organizers

ThinkerAnalytix is an education nonprofit that spun out of the Harvard Department of Philosophy. We are a partnership between world-class scholars and edTech leaders with a mission to prepare students, educators, and working professionals for better disagreements.
Questions? Email us at [email protected]