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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Language and Communications Studies Department
Course Prefix and Number: PHIL 210
Course Title: Logic and Critical Thinking
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Overview of the principles and methods of critical thinking, inductive reasoning and deductive logic. Emphasis on the formulation and evaluation of ordinary language arguments. G.E.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most current editions of the following texts listed below.  Any standard introductory logic text, ideally to include material on all three core areas of the course. Suggestions are listed below.  The instructor may wish to supplement the text with additional readings in any of the areas covered.

Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking
By Merrilee H. Salmon (Wadsworth)
A Concise Introduction to Logic
By Patrick J. Hurley (Wadsworth)
Course Objectives
  • To develop a broad familiarity with three areas of logical thought: critical thinking (informal logic), inductive reasoning (including the analysis of causal arguments), and deductive logic (including symbolized argument analysis).
  • To develop the ability to recognize, reconstruct, and evaluate ordinary language arguments, and to apply standard methods of symbolizing and analyzing formal arguments.
  • To gain exposure to selected theoretical topics in logic and epistemology.
Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Critically evaluate argumentative discourse for clarity, evidential support and coherence; identify occurrences of rthetorical distortion and fallacious reasoning in same.
  • Standardize ordinary language arguments in order to evaluate all stated and any implicit or missing assumptions, as well as their logical relationship to the conclusion.
  • Evaluate the relative strength of inductive arguments using established basic criteria for statistical syllogisms, analogical arguments and causal arguments.
  • Apply Mill's methods for establishing the truth of causal claims to complex problems.
  • Provide symbolic transcriptions of formalized propositions; identify complex individual propositions as necessarily or contingently true or false; determine any logical equivalence relationships between two or more such propositions.
  • Construct truth tables for symbolic deductive arguments and use them to evaluate the validity of same.
  • Identify basic deductive arguments forms amd fallacies in both symbollic and ordinary language.
  • Use Venn diagrams to test the validity of categorical propositions and arguments.
  • Express basic theoretical components of selected topics in logic and epistemology, including classical theories of truth and their challenges, logical parodoxes and the application and limits of logical languages.
Topical Outline:
  • Critical thinking
  • Evidence, belief, knowledge, truth
  • Languages and rational discourse
  • Fallacies of relevance
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Standard inductive argument forms
  • Causal arguments and Mill's methods
  • Inductive fallacies
  • Deductive fallacies
  • Sentence transcription
  • Contingency, necessity and logical evidence
  • Deductive argument forms and fallacies
  • Truth tables
  • Venn diagrams
  • Topics (e.g., paradoxes of reason, use and limits of logical languages, etc.)

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at http://www.ccis.edu/offices/library/index.asp. You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Mark Price Date: February 28, 2011
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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