Course Description for (GW) Critical Thinking: The Art of Reasoning
(GW) Critical Thinking: The Art of Reasoning
Description: This course is an introduction to the art of thinking and reasoning well. Thinking and reasoning well are of paramount importance for not only philosophy, science, history, politics, business, medicine, or engineering, but for any human endeavor that seeks to give rational support for its assertions. Throughout the course we will seek to refine the habits, patterns, and activities of thinking so as to become more careful, more critical, and more competent thinkers. We will do this by first cultivating the skills of identifying and evaluating arguments; we will then learn to identify patterns of bad reasoning and how to improve an argument. At various points in the course we will turn our critical thinking skills toward selected contemporary issues for analysis. By the time the course is finished, successful students will be more confident in analyzing the arguments of others, constructing their own arguments, and discoursing civily with others about complex and contentious issues.