Philosophy | Thinking and Reasoning
P105 | 3733 | Harris
This course (P105: Thinking and Reasoning) is an introduction to
critical reasoning skills and the fundamentals of informal logic.
The class covers the basic concepts of logic and develops principles
and methods for the recognition, analysis, and critical evaluation
of arguments. Our emphasis is on the deductive evaluation of
arguments. Some central topics covered during the course include:
Arguments and the notion of validity, The notion of truth,
Diagramming arguments, Basic valid argument forms, The Contradiction
Principle, Informal proofs of validity, Counterexamples for proving
invalidity, Formal and informal fallacies of reasoning, and
Introductory formal logic.
Arguments are everywhere. The study of Logic and Critical Thinking
is not only fun; it is incredibly useful. The ability to analyze and
evaluate the forms of reasoning one encounters among the
intellectual activities of life --e.g. in newspapers, magazines and
television; in the courts and in the culture; in political speeches
and in university lectures; in scientific and philosophical
investigation-- is really a requirement for successful participation
in those activities.
The goal of this course is for each student to gain a knowledge of
the essentials of informal logic. The primary focus will be on
cultivating skill in recognizing, analyzing and evaluating
arguments. Along the way, we will study several traditional
techniques, such as diagramming arguments, identifying informal
fallacies, and using a tableuax system.
There are regular (weekly) homework assignments and three in-class