PHIL105 Critical Thinking

Department of Social & Behavioral Science: Philosophy

I. Course Number and Title
PHIL105 Critical Thinking
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
2250 minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information
VI. Catalog Course Description
Students examine the nature of both formal and informal reasoning in order to think more clearly and avoid biases. In addition to studying informal fallacies, students learn basic patterns of deductive and non-deductive argument analysis. Examples from across disciplines help students apply critical thinking to all areas of inquiry.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Students will:
      1. Analyze formal and informal fallacies;
      2. Recognize the differences between deductive and non-deductive arguments;
      3. Apply logical methods such as truth tables and standard deduction to formalized arguments;
      4. Formulate problems precisely; and
      5. Synthesize critical responses to contemporary issues in law, society, and/or science.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Category III:
      Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
      Students will:
      1. understand and express the meaning and significance of a variety of communications (Interpretation).
      2. use methods, concepts and theories in new situations (Application Skills).
      3. identify the explicit and implied features of a communication, especially in arguments that put forth a conclusion. (Analysis skills).
      4. assess the credibility of a communication and the strength of claims and arguments. (Evaluation Skills).
      5. reason from what they know to form new knowledge, draw conclusions, solve problems, explain, decide, and/or predict. (Inductive and/or Deductive Reasoning Skills).
      6. communicate and justify clearly the results of their reasoning. (Presenting Arguments Skills).
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    1. Introduction to the course
    2. Basic concepts of Critical Thinking
    3. Language: Its meaning and definition
    4. Informal Fallacies
    5. Argument Patterns
    6. Truth Tables
    7. Rules of Standard Deduction
    8. Analogy and Legal and Moral Reasoning
    9. Hypothetical and Scientific Reasoning
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Exams, quizzes, classroom exercises, class or online participation, and/or projects as specified in the individual instructors' course format will be utilized. A minimum of two exams will be administered.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Written assignments and exams will be used to assess students' abilities to apply concepts and theories to their lives or the lives of others using at least one of the Planned Topics.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    Text: See Course Format
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Section VIII is not being used in new and revised syllabi as of 12/10/08.

Review/Approval Date - 2/99; Revised 11/11