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PHI 115 — Critical Thinking and Argumentation: A Practical Course in Clear Thinking

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 16—Mar 20
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Jan 29
Units: 2
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Forrest Hartman
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Jan 16—Mar 20
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 29
2 Units
Forrest Hartman
Developing skills in critical thinking and argumentation can help us better navigate the complexities of modern society. We are continually bombarded by claims and counterclaims from politicians, advertisers, and even friends and family who want to persuade us to see the world as they do. Being mindful of how arguments are constructed can help us stay open and grounded as we debate ideas and confront conflict. Having a keen eye for weak arguments, logical fallacies, and misleading assertions is an acquired skill that—now more than ever—is a prerequisite of living well in an educated society.

In this practical course in philosophical thinking, we will develop rules for assessing the strength and quality of an argument, which we will practice and reinforce through exercises, model responses, and critical thinking activities, all of which will require active engagement by class members. Topics we will consider as we learn how to make and understand good arguments are the relationships between premises and conclusions, deductive and inductive arguments, arguments by analogy, and common fallacies.

This course will offer techniques for thinking through problems in an open-ended way and show how critical thinking can help us make better decisions and engage more meaningfully in everyday dialogue. The textbook for the course is A Workbook for Arguments: A Complete Course in Critical Thinking.

Forrest Hartman, Senior Adjunct Professor in Critical Studies, California College of the Arts

Forrest Hartman’s research interests are based in the history of ideas and cultural studies, especially the relationship between the sciences and the humanities. He received a PhD in rhetoric/philosophy from UC Berkeley and a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) David R. Morrow and Anthony Westeon, A Workbook for Arguments: A Complete Course in Critical Thinking, 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-1-62466-4)