PHIL 105.001 – How to Reason and Argue: An Introduction to Critical Thinking
Instructor: Meredith Sheeks. This course meets MWF 10:10 – 11:00 a.m. in SC 209.
We often wonder what to think. What is the square root 201,601? What is the most fundamental particle of our universe? What is justice? What led to the collapse of the Roman Empire? What is the fastest route to that coffee shop off Franklin? But rarely do we stop to wonder how to think. And yet, we need to know how to think before we can know what to think.
In this course, we will examine not what to think, but rather, how to think. We will dive into the basics of reason and argumentation—tools which help us make sense of what to think (or not to think) about anything at all. Throughout the course, students will learn how to think critically, how to identify arguments, how to evaluate arguments, how to construct arguments, and how to communicate arguments effectively.
But don’t be fooled: thinking critically is not about winning arguments. Thinking critically is about subjecting one’s own beliefs and values, as well as those of others, to intense scrutiny. The reward of thinking critically is not a knockdown of one’s intellectual opponents, but a deeper understanding of the matters we care about.