North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Philosophy
Logic and Critical Thinking PHIL-201
This is a late-start, concentrated, Internet-only course.
Instructor: Magne Kristiansen
Office: MOL 209
Please text or call me to make an appointment for this or any other mutually convenient time.
Think - Critical Thinking and Logic for Everyday Life
Publisher: McGraw Hill
PHIL 201: The class aims to sharpen and deepen your thinking skills and sharpen your critical abilities. We will do this by learning the main points of traditional logic and by thinking about, (and thinking through) a number of interesting and controversial issues on a wide range of topics.
We have a textbook, but equally important is your interactions with the other students in your class. There will be readings, assignments, and heavy participation in a class blog.
Although the class structure is (always) subject to change, the syllabus will more or less follow the following topics:
WEEK 1. INTRODUCTION What is critical thinking?
- What is the difference between critical thinking and creative thinking?
- Critical thinking is still a family-resemblance concept?
- What are some good examples of critical thinking?
- What are examples of constructive thinking?
- What are examples of creative thinking?
- How do these three differ?
- What are some of the controversial issues that we might consider here in a class of critical thinking?
- And always: the problems of language
- For next week read Chapter 1: Critical Thinking: Why It's Important
- For next week read Chapter 4: Knowledge, Evidence & Errors in Thinking
- For next week read parts of Chapter 2 (Reason & Emotion) and Chapter 3 (Language & Communication)
WEEK 2. What is an argument? / What are facts?
- Why do we argue?
- Introducing theories of human nature
- Introducing the concept of the manimal
- Human susceptibilities
- Personal susceptibilities: (What lines have I drawn in the sand. What subconscious factors are at work?
- What is true?
- What is a fact? what is opinion? what is BS?
- Here's what you can't do: You can't make up the facts. Check the facts!
- Consider the constantly repeated facts and explanations: folk facts, folk explanations. List ones that are not true.
- For next week read Chapter 5: Informal Fallacies
WEEK 3. INFORMAL FALLACIES
- False ways of arguing.
- For next week read Chapter 6: Recognizing, Analyzing, & Constructing Arguments
- For next week read Chapter 8: Deductive Arguments
WEEK 4. LOGICAL DEDUCTION I: Syllogisms and Venn diagrams
- What are arguments?
- Recognizing arguments
- Recognizing conclusions
- Using arguments in professions.
- The classical syllogism
- The formalization of argumentation through mathematics
- Evaluating syllogisms through truth tables
- The limits of formal logic
- For next week read Chapter 12: Science
WEEK 5. How should we think about SCIENCE? INDUCTION
- What is science?
- Science and falsifiability
- Thomas Kuhn on Paradigms
- How do we evaluate statistical 'facts'?
- On risk assessment
- For next week read Chapter 7: Inductive Arguments
WEEK 6. How should we think about RELIGION?
- What is it to think about religion?
- Why is thinking about religion often discouraged?
- For next week read Chapter 10: Marketing & Advertising
- For next week read Chapter 11: Mass Media
WEEK 7. How should we think about ADVERTISING?
- How do ads work?
- What do they have to do with reason?
- What are the subconscious effects of advertising?
- Should there be restrictions placed on advertising for the common good?
- What things do not get any advertising?
- For next week read Chapter 13: Law & Politics
WEEK 8. How should we think about POLITICS and HISTORY?
- How can we get information on the candidates apart from their ads?
- What is with all the political signs?
- The classic view of government
- Issues of corruption
- Political issues vs. political strategy
- What is history?
- Why do we take sides in history.
- What is patriotism?
- The dangers of language (once more)
- For next week read Chapter 9: Ethics & Moral Decision-Making
WEEK 9. How should we think about ETHICS and MORALITY and EVERYDAY MORAL CHOICES?
- The classic view of ethics.
- The four moral theories.
- Negative vs. positive morality
- How is morality actually decided? (the example of homosexual rights)
- Examples of everyday morality
- What is racism?
WEEK 10. How should we think about LIFE CHOICES?
- Who should I marry?
- Thinking about sex
- What profession should I go into?
- Should I have children?
- What should I tolerate?
WEEK 11. What have we learned?
- REVIEW and FINAL THOUGHTS
- What would I have liked you to learn?
- What did you learn?
- Where do you go from here?
Grades will be based on the points accumulated over the semster. Tests and examinations will be 15% of the grade.
For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: http://www.nic.edu/policy/
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college.Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.
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For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: http://www.nic.edu/policy/
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Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities. Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access.
If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor. Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.
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If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.
Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes for the fall term: November 7, 2011.
Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure: http://www.nic.edu/modules/images/websites/121/file/section5/5.04.02procedure.pdf.
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All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session. If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.
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North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind. For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, ESU, 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, 769-3304) for employee issues.
DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT: By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.
DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE: You must attend and participate in the first week of this class. Failure to do so will result in your being dropped from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. For Internet classes, attendance is based on participation in an instructional activity; you must complete the first week’s assignment(s) by the assignment due date. Drop for non-attendance occurs at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the second Tuesday of the semester.