PHIL& 115: Critical Thinking

Class Program
Weekly Contact Hours
Course ID
Meets Degree Requirements For

A non-symbolic approach to logic and critical thinking focusing on the principles of reasoning and the criteria for validity. Case studies in government, health, education and business, with an emphasis on real-life examples. Principles of argumentation in discourse as seen through the critique of sample arguments and analysis of informal fallacies.

Grading Basis

Course Learning Outcomes

Core Topics


  1. What critical thinking is: clarification of terms, critical thinking and logic, clarification of what an argument is.
  2. Importance of clarity, understanding ambiguity and vagueness, a model of writing for clear communication.
  3. Evaluating informative claims, what is information, opinion, etc. and being aware of possible conflicts.
  4. Evaluating explanations, differentiating between physical, psychological and functional definitions.
  5. Understanding and evaluating arguments, looking at the anatomy of an argument, clarifying a logical flow to reach a consistent conclusion from the premise.
  6. Causal arguments are discussed with a clarification of what is basic to cause a consistent flow.
  7. Moral reasoning is discussed, realizing this is quite subjective; moving from an ought to an is and looking at the various schools of moral thought.
  8. Conscious and unconscious persuasion, the use of slanters, euphemisms, tailoring--better known as manipulation by slanting what is said or written.
  9. Study of informal fallacies and examples.