PHL238 Real-World Critical Thinking
Lead Faculty: Dr. Melinda Campbell
This is an introductory course in formal logic. Course content focuses on syllogistic reasoning in the formulation and evaluation of deductive arguments as well as several varieties of inductive reasoning including Mill's Methods and standard forms of scientific and causal reasoning. In addition to covering the basic concepts and practice of deductive and inductive reasoning, the course provides an introduction to the skills needed to rationally and critically evaluate common forms of fallacious thinking, verbal sleights of hand, and the use of language to distort and confuse.
- Demonstrate an understanding of various logical concepts such as validity, soundness, cogency, logical contradiction, and logical inconsistency.
- Articulate the difference between formal and informal, deductive and inductive logic.
- Translate statements in ordinary language into standard-form categorical statements in the expression and formation of valid syllogistic arguments.
- Demonstrate validity in syllogistic arguments through the Venn Diagram method and application of the Rules of the Syllogism.
- Recognize common invalid logical argument forms and syllogistic fallacies and demonstrate proficiency in identifying strong from weak inductive arguments.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relation between logic and truth, and the evaluative difference between pure and applied logic.
- Employ different methods to distinguish between arguments, reasons, conclusions, premises, and suppressed assumptions present in ordinary human discourse.
- Recognize the common invalid argument forms and syllogistic fallacies used in argumentation.
- Recognize ambiguities that cloud language and informal fallacies that obscure rational thinking.