Philosophy | Thinking and Reasoning
P105 | 20448 | Harris


This course (Thinking and Reasoning, P105) is an introduction to
critical thinking and informal logic. The class covers the
fundamental concepts of logic and develops principles and methods for
the recognition, analysis, and critical evaluation of arguments.
Throughout, our emphasis is on the deductive evaluation of arguments
but we will take time to investigate some of the ways critical
thinkers evaluate inductive reasoning as well.

Arguments are truly everywhere: in newspapers, magazines, and
television; in the courts and in culture; in political speeches and
in university lectures; in scientific and philosophical
investigation. The study of logic and critical thinking is not just
fun and useful, it is essential. The ability to analyze and evaluate
the forms of reasoning one meets among the intellectual activities of
life is really a requirement for successful participation in those
activities.

The goal of this course is for each student to learn how to correctly
apply the principles of logic and to cultivate the skills they need
to recognize, analyze and critically evaluate arguments. Along the
way, we will study several traditional techniques, such as argument
reconstruction through diagramming, identifying informal fallacies,
and using a formal proof system. The course requirements include
regular homework assignments, two in-class exams, and a final exam.