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Critical Thinking and Logic

PHL 221

Critical Thinking and Logic

PHL 221

Course Description

Development of critical thinking skills through the study of formal and informal logic. Analysis of fallacies, methods of clear argumentation, inductive logic, deductive logic and rational decision-making. Logically analyzes the use of contemporary mass media such as advertising, news media, and the internet. (60-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Develop a practical understanding of cognitive and rhetorical uses of language.

Objectives:

  • State and explain the nature of the various rhetorical uses of language, identify examples of them, and also distinguish the cognitive elements in the examples.

Learn the fundamental concepts of the discipline of logic and critical thinking as studied in the course.

Objectives:

  • Define these concepts.
  • Distinguish examples of them.
  • Provide a critical explanation of cases when the concepts are and are not helpful in analyzing the examples.

Develop the ability to identify, formulate and evaluate arguments in written and spoken texts.

Objectives:

  • Define, identify and distinguish the various kinds of arguments.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weakness of arguments.
  • Identify the assumptions necessary to make arguments strong, valid and cogent.

Learn the logical functions and definitions of logical operators studied in the course.

Objectives:

  • State appropriate logical definitions and functions of these terms.
  • Explain why these terms are defined as they are.

Identify the logic of an argument in written text.

Objectives:

  • Develop facility at distinguishing and identifying statement forms such as tautologies, contingencies and contradictions.
  • Identify and state the arguments from written texts and put into convention forms such as those of syllogistic logic, truth functional logic and quantificational logic.
  • Perform tests for validity by using such methods as truth tables, deductions and syllogistic analyses.

Develop an understanding of the various kinds of fallacious reasoning and the ability to identify them in areas such as but not limited to the news, politics, advertising and culture.

Objectives:

  • State and explain the definitions of these fallacies.
  • Identify and explain the presence of these fallacies when given various arguments and texts