PHIL 105G Critical Thinking

PHIL 105G | Open | Summer School, Semester One & Two 2024 | City Campus | Online | 15 point


We are constantly being given reasons to do and believe things: to buy a product, support a cause, accept a job, exchange views with our friends, do a share of household chores, and so on. Assessing the reasons we are given to do or believe these things calls upon us to think carefully and accurately. The goal of this course is to help you improve your skills in giving and assessing reasons for beliefs and actions. This will help you in essay and report-writing, but more importantly contribute to your development as a reasonable participant in a complex and changing world.
The course is divided into three parts:
1- Reasoning with Certainty: We explore the principles of argumentation and how we might represent and analyse arguments. We will learn to analyse and evaluate deductive arguments, and understand their limitations.
2- Reasoning with Doubt: Building on our understanding of deductive arguments, we will analyse and evaluate non-deductive arguments, including weighing competing arguments, and causal reasoning. We will identify good and bad arguments, and the kinds of arguments common in everyday life.
3- Reasoning in a Field: We apply our newly acquired reasoning tools to investigate the inner workings of specialised contexts for reasoning, such as: science, morality, statistics, law, medicine, engineering, business, creative arts, or logic.
This is a blended course. All course material, including readings, videos, quizzes, discussions, and lectures recordings, are available online. Both streams cover the same material, and have the same assessment. You can switch between delivery formats at any time. This course can also be taken as General Education (PHIL 105G) or a Philosophy paper (PHIL 105).

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate Arguments
  2. Construct reasoned, strong arguments using acceptable evidence. 
  3. Provide perspectives and critiques on reasons from differing worldviews. 
  4. Recognise and interpret mental dispositions, assumptions, biases and heuristics that can affect your reasoning.
  5. Write arguments, ideas, and reflections on and using critical thinking.

Student Feedback

'I appreciated the fun and entertaining manner in which the course content was delivered. I took this paper as my final GenEd (was a bit reluctant to go 'off track' from my Commerce papers) and am so pleased that I took this course. It's challenged my way of thinking and helped me to develop my critical thinking and communication skills. Just an awesome paper taught by awesome instructors/tutors.'

'Feedback on discussion posts and assignments was really helpful, it gave me opportunities to improve and learn from mistakes or misunderstandings. The feedback was clear and concise so I was able to identify what I had done wrong.'

'I found the course challenging but the lecturer did very well in clearly outlining objectives and pointing me in the right direction when I had questions. The course was very organised in terms of assignments that allowed us to demonstrate our understanding of content. The lecturer is very passionate about this field and he did well in explaining the content in an understandable way.'

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