Critical Thinking
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"Composition IX" 1818, by Theo van Doesburg

PHL 276-01


Summer 2011

Course Syllabus

Click here to download your course syllabus.

The syllabus contains all information pertinent to this class except for the detailed course plan, which is maintained on this website so that students may have easier access to the readings, assignments, and other media we will be using throughout the term.

It is your responsibility to read the syllabus thoroughly and to be sure that you understand all of it's provisions. If you do not agree or believe that you cannot comply with any of the terms in the syllabus, you should withdraw from the course immediately.

Detailed Course Plan

Week 1: Course Introduction

Tues. 28 June

Required Reading: Read the course syllabus thoroughly.
Required Work: None. We will go over the course syllabus.

Required Reading: None.
Required Work: None. There will be an overview of the themes and concepts of the course.

Thurs. 30 June

Required Reading: A Concise Introduction to Heuristics and Biases
Required Work:

  • Visit the TPM website and take the “Philosophical Health Check” prior to attendance. Be ready to discuss your results in class.
  • Take notes on the reading in your course journal, and be prepared to discuss it in class. Write down at least three of your own questions or reflections to help you contribute to the discussion.

Required Reading: Language, Emotion, and Bias
Required Work: None

Week 2

Tues. 5 July

Required Reading: Vagueness, Ambiguity and Definition
Required Work: Exercise 1

Required Reading: Reasoning, Communication, and Speech Acts
Required Work: TBD

Thurs. 7 July

Required Reading: Douglas Walton, "Types of Dialogue, Dialectical Shifts, and Fallacies"
Required Work: Exercise 2
Required Reading: Guidelines for Good Reasoning in Dialogue
Required Work: Turn in two (2) blue exam books. Do NOT write anything in them and do NOT put any identifying marks on them at all.

Week 3

Tues. 12 July

Required Reading: Recognizing Arguments
Required Work: Exercise 3 and Exercise 4

Required Reading: Preparing Arguments for Analysis
Required Work: TBD

Thurs. 14 July

Required Reading: Formal Reasoning I: Categorical Logic, Chapter 2 of iLogic by Wu-Mei Ming
Required Work: Exercise 5

We will have a short exercise on taking essay tests.

Week 4

Tues. 19 July

Required Reading: none
Required Work: PHL 276 Sum 11 Test One

II Formal Reasoning II: Propositional Logic
Required Reading:

Required Work: TBD

Thurs. 21 July

Required Reading: We reviewed the concept of logical form
Required Work: We completed our first assignment on logical form, moving from forms to arguments in English, together in class.

The second half of class was cancelled due to excessive heat.

Week 5

Tues. 26 July

Required Reading: Formal Reasoning III: Common Errors in Probabilistic Reasoning
[| Reading 1]
[| Reading 2]
[| Reading 3]
Required Work: Recognizing Common Valid and Invalid Argument Forms
This handout: Common Stylistic Variants may be useful.

Required Reading: None, there will be an introductory lecture on Defeasible Reasoning in Ordinary Language
Required Work: TBD

Thurs. 28 July

Required Reading:

Required Work: Review of the Exercise on Recognizing Common Valid and Invalid Argument Forms

Required Reading: Evaluating Authoritative Sources
Required Work: None

Week 6

Tues. 02 August

Required Reading: None
Required Work: We will have our Second Test, which will cover all material from Tues. 12 July to Thurs. 28 July.
PHL 276 Sum 11 Test Two

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