Department of Philosophy

Critical Thinking and Logic

Major in Philosophy: Critical Thinking and Logic 

The department offers a large selection of courses for philosophy majors interested in critical thinking or logic.

1200 Critical Thinking
6 credit hours

This course is an introduction to essential principles of reasoning and critical thinking. It is designed to develop students’ abilities to evaluate various forms of reasoning, to examine critically beliefs, conventions and theories, and to develop sound arguments. Emphasis will be given to decision-making and arguments in ordinary language, particularly those addressed to issues of public concern and moral debate. 

1255 Scientific Method
3 credit hours

This course provides a historical and logical analysis of methods commonly used in science. Possible topics include science vs. pseudo-science, natural vs. social sciences, modes of reasoning, observation and experimentation, construction and empirical testing of theories and models, and thought experiments. 

2301 Introduction to Symbolic Logic
3 credit hours

This course introduces the fundamentals of symbolic logic. Both the propositional and predicate calculus are covered as well as various standard proof techniques. 

3413 Intermediate Logic
3 credit hours

This course continues and develops the work of PHIL 2301. It offers students of all faculties opportunities for further growth in reasoning skills, in part through supervised practice in the logical appraisal of extracts from a variety of important writings. Some branches of logic are developed beyond the level of PHIL 2301. The complete predicate calculus (with identity) is applied to arguments of ordinary English. Inductive logic, and practically significant areas of logical theory, are developed considerably. Scientific method and the general methods of some other disciplines are analyzed in some depth. 

3415 Argumentation Theory
3 credit hours

Contemporary argumentation theory draws upon several disciplines: philosophy of language, cognitive psychology, feminist philosophy, and communications theory. This course will examine the concept of argument through the lens provided by argumentation theorists. Alternative conceptions of argument will be critically examined and an overview of the development of argumentation theory will be provided.