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Course Description

This course is designed to develop clarity of thought and method in the analysis and construction of arguments. By contrast to PHIL*2110, the emphasis here is upon informal principles of critical thinking and arguments stated in terms of ordinary language. Topics include the nature and methods of arguing, classification, definition and fallacies.

Note: This course can be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

1. Distinguish between an argument and other expressions of ideas in everyday discourse.

2. Distinguish between a good and a bad argument using the tools for argument analysis.

3. Assess the effectiveness of any mode of persuasion using the criteria for cogency analysis.

4. Identify fallacies in political speech and media articles.

5. Compose a persuasive dialectical essay or presentation in favour of any viewpoint they may hold on any Issue.

Course Topics

  • Overview of Critical Thinking
  • Detecting errors in our thinking.
  • Attitudes and feelings that distort our thinking
  • Argument basics
  • Argument types
  • Argument patterns
  • Judging argument
  • Finding missing parts
  • Experts and evidence
  • Personal experience
  • Claims in the news
  • Advertising and persuasion
  • faulty reasoning
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Categorical logic
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Propositional logic
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Five major Inductive Argument types
  • Inference to the Best Explanation
  • The Scientific Method
  • Judging Scientific Theories

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 2.00 credits or (1 of PHIL*1000, PHIL*1010, PHIL*1050)


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Quizzes 15% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Discussions 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Essay 25% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Online Final Exam 40% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Total 100%  



Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. In order to use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, you must meet the following technical requirements:

  1. Operating Systems: Windows 10, 8, 7; Mac OS X 10.10 or higher.
  2. Memory: Windows 2 GB RAM; Mac 512 MB RAM.
  3. For Mac users: Safari must function properly on the computer.
  4. Mac users must have Adobe Flash Player installed to Safari, even if a different browser is normally used.
  5. Functioning webcam and microphone. The webcam and microphone can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. (You will be required to do an environment scan of your room, so please ensure you can move your computer, laptop or webcam for this scan.)
  6. A broadband Internet connection. It is recommended that you access the Internet via a wired connection.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


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