A tool for logical analysis

How Ponder works

Ponder is a digital environment designed to facilitate critical thinking through textual argument analysis. This is a process consisting in the identification, interpretation, reconstruction and evaluation of the reasoning in a text. Argument analysis can be daunting to beginners, and demonstrates the vast difference between mere information consumption, and critical thinking. Ponder offers a range of features to guide, visualize and simplify analysis.

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Graphical visualization of logical structure.

Social feedback and real-time collaboration.

Scaffolded step-wise process and guide to argument-analysis.

An AI powered assistant to identify relevant linguistic structures.

A framework for evaluating the quality, and strength of reasoning.

A framework for evaluating the quality, and strength of reasoning.

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Why Ponder?

A system for critical thinking

Critical thinking is clear, reasonable and reflective thinking aimed at good judgment about what to do or believe. Philosophy is the academic field of study dedicated to critical thinking. Wheras psychology is concerned with describing and explaining how human beings tend to think, philosophy is concerned with how we ought to think. Ponder implements the theoretical insight of modern analytic philosophy and related fields in an intuitive system for reading and writing critically.

Effective educational tool

Using Ponder does not presuppose any prior critical thinking skills. However, beginners will effectively learn these skills by engaging with the system. As a pedagogical tool, Ponder effectively instantiates principles of active learning through guided practice. By engaging with Ponder, students learn critical thinking skills by trial and error, with automated feedback mechanisms offering instructive advice for errors. The research literature on practice oriented courses using argument-mapping software seems to indicate that this approach is several times more effective than traditional approaches.

A logical way to organize knowledge

Ponder is a system for clarifying ideas, and the logical relations between them. Active reading and writing with Ponder automatically organizes ideas in a directed knowledge graph: a web of belief. Nodes correspond to thoughts (propositions), and edges represent inferences (logical relations). This graphical way of organizing knowledge has several consequential advantages over traditional note-taking, file-storing and other knowledge management methods.

A framework for thoughtful collaboration and serious discussion

Ponder is designed to facilitate thoughtful discussion. Reading with Ponder allows thoughtful readers to show how they interpret the line of reasoning in a text, and how they evaluate the strength of arguments. This makes Ponder an ideal tool for giving thoughtful feedback on assignments, research papers, articles and pitches. The graphical visualization of thought is a great crutch for collaborative reasoning about complex lines of reasoning. This makes Ponder a nice supplement for presentations, reading groups and other discussion settings.

A flexible system for linguistic data-annotation

Ponder is both a system for critical thought, and a system for creating data. The annotation technologies of Ponder offer a customizable set of functions for classification and for ascribing relations between linguistic entities, in addition to visualization features. In combination with a ML-friendly automatic data-formatting functions and user friendly interface, Ponder is a good alternative for most annotation tasks in ML-driven NLP projects.