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PHIL105 Critical Thinking

The ideas of reason, truth and argument. What are the limits of argument? Common fallacies of reasoning. Traditional logic and its limitations. Modern logic. Non-deductive reasoning.

This paper teaches students to develop clear, persuasive, rational arguments. It also teaches students a wide variety of methods for the analysis or reasoning both in academic and non-academic contexts. Topics covered include:

  • Recognising different types of arguments
  • Evaluating deductive arguments using logical validity
  • Setting out and analysing arguments using simple logical notation
  • Understanding causal reasoning
  • Recognising fallacies
  • Understanding moral panics and pseudoscience

Paper title Critical Thinking
Paper code PHIL105
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $851.85
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,585.00

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Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Eligibility
This paper is open to all students.
Contact
Dr Zach Weber, zach.weber@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Dr Zach Weber
Paper Structure
Two 1-hour lectures per week and one tutorial.

This is a skill-based paper. The point is not to learn any particular facts or content, but rather skills for dealing with any facts or content you might come across in life. In the first half of the paper, we learn about methods for evaluating evidence, telling when something is science versus when it is not and how to identify fallacious reasoning. In the second half, we learn some basic symbolic logic - Venn diagrams and truth-tables - as ways of telling whether or not a deductive argument is formally valid.

Assessment:
  • Two in-class tests 15% each
  • Tutorial-based assessment 10%
  • Final exam 60%
Textbooks
A course book
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will gain
  • The ability to critically assess the reasoning employed by themselves and others
  • A demonstrated understanding of the notions of validity and soundness; a demonstrated ability to test for validity employing the techniques of syllogistic reasoning, Venn diagrams and truth-tables; a demonstrated ability to apply Mill's methods to causal arguments
  • A demonstrated ability to recognise and discuss examples of common fallacies and to explain and assess pseudoscientific claims in their own words
  • The ability to develop and analyse philosophical reasoning collaboratively in group discussion

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Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9-15, 18-22
Friday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 17-22

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Monday 14:00-14:50 10-15, 17-22
T2 Monday 15:00-15:50 10-15, 17-22
T3 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 10-15, 18-22
T4 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 10-15, 18-22
T6 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 10-15, 17-22
T7 Thursday 13:00-13:50 10-15, 17-22
T8 Thursday 14:00-14:50 10-15, 17-22

The ideas of reason, truth and argument. What are the limits of argument? Common fallacies of reasoning. Traditional logic and its limitations. Modern logic. Non-deductive reasoning.

This paper teaches students to develop clear, persuasive, rational arguments. It also teaches students a wide variety of methods for the analysis or reasoning both in academic and non-academic contexts. Topics covered include:

  • Recognising different types of arguments
  • Evaluating deductive arguments using logical validity
  • Setting out and analysing arguments using simple logical notation
  • Understanding causal reasoning
  • Recognising fallacies
  • Understanding moral panics and pseudoscience

Paper title Critical Thinking
Paper code PHIL105
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

^ Top of page

Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Contact
kourken.michaelian@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Dr Kourken Michaelian
Paper Structure
Two 1-hour lectures per week and one tutorial.

This is a skill-based paper. The point is not to learn any particular facts or content, but rather skills for dealing with any facts or content you might come across in life. In the first half of the paper, we learn about methods for evaluating evidence, telling when something is science versus when it is not and how to identify fallacious reasoning. In the second half, we learn some basic symbolic logic - Venn diagrams and truth-tables - as ways of telling whether or not a deductive argument is formally valid.

Assessment:
  • Two in-class tests 15% each
  • Tutorial-based assessment 10%
  • Final exam 60%
Textbooks
A course book.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will gain
  • The ability to critically assess the reasoning employed by themselves and others
  • A demonstrated understanding of the notions of validity and soundness; a demonstrated ability to test for validity employing the techniques of syllogistic reasoning, Venn diagrams and truth-tables; a demonstrated ability to apply Mill's methods to causal arguments
  • A demonstrated ability to recognise and discuss examples of common fallacies and to explain and assess pseudoscientific claims in their own words
  • The ability to develop and analyse philosophical reasoning collaboratively in group discussion
Eligibility
This paper is open to all students.

^ Top of page

Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
Friday 12:00-12:50 9-12, 15-22

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Monday 14:00-14:50 10-13, 15-22
T2 Monday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 15-22
T3 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 10-13, 15-22
T4 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 10-13, 15-22
T5 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
T6 Thursday 13:00-13:50 10-13, 15-22
T7 Thursday 14:00-14:50 10-13, 15-22