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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 this course, you 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; and

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 following:

  • Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. 

Please view the Technical Considerations.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Critical Thinking
September 09, 2021 to December 03, 2021
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,908.38 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor..
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) The Power of Critical Thinking by Chris MacDonald and Lewis Vaughn © 2019 Oxford University Press 5th edition ISBN Soft Cover: 978-19-903043-9 eBook: 978-19-903048-4
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