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PHIL 2020

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at   
Credit Hours   3   
Course Title   Logic And Critical Thinking   
Prerequisite(s)   Exit or exemption from all Learning Support English and reading or all ESL requirements   
Corequisite(s)   None Specified   
Catalog Description   
This course provides development of practical, non-symbolic logical skills, with emphasis on the composition of argumentative essays. Definitions, types of meanings, fallacious and deceptive arguments, and deductive and inductive reasoning are covered.

Expected Educational Results   
As a result of completing this course, students will be able to:

a)  Recognize, in language, its functions, grammatical forms, and kinds of meanings, and how these are related to the reasoning process.

b)  Distinguish arguments from non-argumentative discourse.

c)  Identify non-argumentative persuasion.

d)  Recognize argument structure.

e)  Recognize deductive and inductive arguments.

f)  Understand soundness and fallacies, and thus be able to evaluate arguments.

g)  Write an extended argument.

General Education Outcomes   
a)  Students develop listening skills through lectures, class discussion, and peer group activities.

b)  Students develop speaking skills through class discussions and peer group activities.

c)  Students develop reading skills through the comprehension of the form and content of textbook material and professional essays.

d)  Students develop writing skills through the composition of expository and argumentative essays.

e)  Students develop critical thinking skills through the analysis and evaluation of philosophical arguments.

Course Content   
The course should include, but not be limited to, the following topics:

a)  Aspects of language (meaning, emotive language, definitions, etc.)

b)  Arguments

1) Arguments vs. other kinds of discourse (non-argumentative persuasion, explanations, etc.)

2) Analysis of arguments (reconstruction, diagramming, etc.)

3) Evaluation of arguments (criteria for soundness, formal and informal fallacies, etc.)

4) Practice writing arguments of different lengths

c) Deduction

1) Validity and truth.

2) Instructors should introduce students to the form and concept of symbolic logic, but symbolic logic should not amount to a significant portion of the content of this course.

d) Induction

1) Analogies

2) Causal reasoning

Assessment of Outcome Objectives   
I) Assessment of student work in individual courses may include, but is not limited to:

a)  Class participation.  (0-25 % of final grade)

b)  At least two in-class exams.  (25-40 % of final grade)

c)  At least three out-of-class writing assignments, for a total of 3,000 words (10-12 pages).  (25-40 % of final grade)

d)  Comprehensive final exam.  (10-25 % of final grade)
The individual instructor will determine the number and nature of writing assignments that students must complete; tests are given at the indvidual instructor's discretion, and the final exam will be an activity of appropriate significance to the course.
II)  Departmental assessment of the course.  

An evaluation will be administered to all sections of Phil 2020 by faculty teaching those sections.  Students will fill out a questionnaire directly related to the objectives of the course, and will also take a test composed of questions aimed at determining whether the student has grasped the basic concepts of critical thinking.  After students have completed the evaluation, instructors teaching the course will meet to review the questionnaire responses and tests, and to consider their implication for syllabus revision.

These evaluations will be given every three years during the Fall semester, either during the last or second to last week of that semester, or alternately as part of the final exam.    


The philosophy faculty and other interested parties will use the information gathered from the departmental assessment to revise the Common Course Outline if such revision is deemed beneficial.

Revised January 2007

Last Revised: Jul. 29, 2011
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