- Lecture and seminar. The class may be divided into small sections for the seminars.
- Regular practice/exercises, based on lectures and seminars.
- Examination of written and oral arguments to detect fallacies and illustrate sound thinking.
- May also include regular on-line, in-class, or take-home practices or exercises, based on lectures, seminars, or on-line content.
- The nature of sound reasoning as differentiated from unsound reasoning, the examination of proposition and inference, of inductive and deductive argument.
- The analysis and evaluation of basic argument forms both spoken a written, as in, for example, current newspapers, magazines, articles, excerpts from books, and on the web.
- The nature of the development of a philosophical understanding and the role of arguments in that development.
- Practice in various specific forms of reasoning such as analogy, causal inference, and inference from authority.
- Practice in the dialogical formulation of arguments, by means of formal and informal debate and of the assumption of argument roles.
- Practice in composing brief written arguments on selected subjects.
- Practice in the detection and recognition of natural language fallacies.
The successful student will be able to appreciate and engage in the following practices:
- Participation in dialogue in a way that enables the students to experience and reflect upon their own thinking as it is expressed in communication with others.
- Examination from newspapers, magazines, articles and books, the web, and other instances of contemporary expression so as to discern genuine thinking from the spurious.
- Thinking for themselves, and the development of confidence in their own thinking.
- The recognition that much, if not most, of what passes for thinking actually prevents thinking and substitutes for it other things such as force, rhetoric, propaganda, etc.
- The discovery of those elements which militate against thinking.
- The cultivation of a deeper understanding of the world.
Evaluation will be based upon course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.
Any possible combination of the following which equals 100%:
|Tests, Quizzes, Short Written Assignments||30% – 60%||Five 10% Tests||50%|
|Written Class Presentations, Argument Analyses, Exams||20% – 50%||Two 20% Analyses||40%|
|Instructor’s General Evaluation
(may include attendance class participation,
group work, homework, etc.)
|0% – 20%||Attendance/
(No one evaluation component within each category may exceed 40%)
Textbooks will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:
- Govier, T. A Practical Study of Argument, 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth-Thompson, 2010.
- Groarke, L. and Indale, C.W., Good Reasoning Matters, 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Hughs, W.; Lavery, J. Critical Thinking: An Introduction to the Basic Skills, 5th ed. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2008.