Critical Thinking (PHIL*2100) | College of Arts

Critical Thinking (PHIL*2100)

Term: Fall 2013


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. The purpose of a critical thinking class is to make you better at identifying, analyzing, criticizing, writing about, and constructing arguments. The core text for this course is The Pocket Guide to Critical Thinking. It provides the basic tools for recognizing, analyzing, and criticizing arguments. The other course text is How To Think About Weird Things. The authors of this book focus on various pseudoscientific topics in order to emphasize where people tend to go wrong when they come to believe weird things (e.g. that a flashing light is an alien UFO; that the world was created 8000 years ago, that truth is what you believe is true, that there is nothing special about science as opposed to, say, astrology). The course ranges widely over a number of important and useful concepts in the psychological study of reasoning as well as logical concepts. The ultimate objective of the course is practical: to help the student develop useful tools for reasoning in any context.


PDF icon PHIL2100 Syllabus.pdf44.45 KB