Critical Thinking (PHIL*2100) | College of Arts

Critical Thinking (PHIL*2100)

Code and section: PHIL*2100*01

Term: Fall 2022

Instructor: Don Dedrick


Course Synopsis:

An argument is a set of statements (the premises of the argument) that is intended to provide rational support for some further statement (the conclusion of the argument). We use arguments to convince ourselves and others that some view or position is rationally supported. By “rationally supported” we mean “based on good reasons.” The purpose of a critical thinking class is to make you better at identifying, analyzing, criticizing, writing about, and constructing arguments. The course ranges widely over a number of important topics: truth, knowledge, gaslighting, fake news, bad reasoning, bullshit. It also introduces important and useful concepts in the psychological study of reasoning concerned with cognitive bias. The course is lecture and activity based, with plenty of opportunity for students to contribute. Tutorials are once a week and are designed to give students a chance to critically assess longer pieces from magazines, the internet, academic writing, etc. The ultimate objective of the course is practical: to help the student develop useful tools for reasoning in any context.