PHILOSOPHY 25 Critical Thinking - SPRING SEMESTER 2010
Bldg C 301
Instructor: Kate Carpenter
Office Hours and Communication: Besides talking to me before or after class, you can communicate with me by email or you can set up an appointment.
Social Sciences Division phone: 626-585-7248
TEXT: Moore, Brooke Noel, & Richard
Parker. Critical Thinking, Ninth Edition (
The goal of this course is to develop your critical thinking skills with a special emphasis on understanding and evaluating arguments. The skills developed in this class will help you in other course work and permit you to analyze the types of reasoning used in our daily lives. By the end of the course, you will have improved your ability to recognize and respond to arguments in a variety of contexts. The course also seeks to develop your ability to integrate the principles of critical thinking with the techniques of effective written argument; 6,000 to 8,000 words will be required during the semester.
STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
Class attendance and Tardiness: Attendance is mandatory, and I will take role every day. I will also record tardiness. You are expected to come to class ON TIME and stay in class until the end. Those who arrive late or leave early, without authorization from me, may be considered absent. It is your responsibility to notify me if you arrived late. The course includes a significant amount of terminology and conceptual detail, plus I supplement the text and deviate from it as needed.
Written assignments: Three short editorial or opinion pieces from the LA or NY Times will be given, each worth 10 pts. You must demonstrate your understanding of the issue discussed and given the argument in a concise, standardized form.
A 4- to 5-page evaluative essay is due in Week 8, and is worth 50 pts. A 4- to 5-page position paper is due in Week 16, the week BEFORE the final exam, and is worth 50 pts.
Four quizzes: 4 quizzes will be given, approximately every three weeks. Each quiz is worth 50 pts.
Final exam: The final exam will be given on 6/18 and is worth 50 pts.
4 quizzes = 200 pts
Final exam = 50 pts
3 LA or NY Times written assignments = 30 pts
Evaluative essay = 50 pts
Position paper = 50 pts
Class attendance, homework, and participation = 20 pts
GRADING: Letter grades will be assigned according to points achieved cumulatively on the four quizzes, final exam, written assignments, and attendance/homework/
participation. A = 360-400 points; B = 320-359 points; C = 280-319 points; D = 240-279 points; F = 239 and below.
Make-up policy for homework and quizzes: Homework and written assignments must be turned in on time, and all quizzes must be taken on the dates assigned for the entire class. Any exceptions must be approved by the instructor in advance. I permit students to make up only ONE quiz at a later date.
STUDENT/INSTRUCTOR RESPONSIBILITIES FOR LEARNING: Please get the telephone number or email of a classmate in order to keep up on course progress and assignments if you must be absent. I prefer not to respond to emails asking what the current assignment is—this is your responsibility. However, I will respond to emails that ask for clarification of a concept discussed in class, to set up an appointment, or to tell me you will be absent.
It is up to you, the student, to pay close attention, clear up any confusion, and communicate any learning problems to me. I take teaching seriously, and I will help you IF YOU ASK ME. I will also be willing to stop the class to clarify any instruction that is not clear to you. Don’t wait until the class is almost over to get help. If you don’t speak up about your needs, then you must also take responsibility for any learning-related problems you are having.
ETHICS POLICY: Any form of cheating, copying, or plagiarizing is prohibited and punishable by immediate dismissal from the course or failure of the course or assignment, as determined by me. Don’t take any chances. If you have questions about what should be documented and cited for your written assignments, please ask.
CLASS SCHEDULE: This is a guide only; content may be added, removed, or revised.
Wk 1: 2/26 Chap 1 Critical Thinking Basics
Identifying arguments (premises, conclusions)
Identifying nonarguments (explanations, persuasive passages)
Standardizing simple arguments
Wk. 2: 3/5 Chap 2 Two Kinds of Reasoning
Unstated premises and conclusions
Standardizing complex arguments
Clarifying an argument’s structure
Deduction and induction
Hand-out LA Times assignment and discuss
Wk 3: 3/12 Deduction and induction cont.
Chapter 10 Three Kinds of Inductive Arguments
Inductive syllogisms, inductive generalizing, and
inductive arguments from analogy
(LA or NY Times assignment 1 due)
Wk 4: 3/19 Deduction and induction cont.
QUIZ 1 (Chaps 1, 2 and 10, plus handouts)
Wk 5: 3/26 Chap 4 Credibility
Criteria for acceptability of a claim
Criteria for unacceptability of a claim
Hand-out Evaluative Essay assignment and discuss
(LA or NY Times assignment 2 due)
Wk 6: 4/2 Analyzing arguments for cogency (handout)
Wk 7: 4/9 Chap 3 Clear Thinking, Critical Thinking, and Clear Writing
Language use: vagueness and ambiguity
QUIZ 2 (Chap 4 and handouts—analysis of an argument for cogency)
Wk 8: 4/16 Language use: defining terms
(Evaluative Essay due)
Chap 5 Persuasion through Rhetoric
4/23 NO CLASS (Spring Break)
Wk 9: 4/30 Chap 6 More Rhetorical Devices: Psychological and Related Fallacies
(LA or NY Times assignment 3 due)
Wk 10: 5/7 Chap 6 Fallacies cont.
QUIZ 3 (Chaps 3, 5 and 6)
Wk 11: 5/14 Hand-out Position Paper assignment and discuss
Chap 7 More Fallacies
Wk 12: 5/21 Chap 8 Deductive Arguments: Categorical Logic
Quality, Quantity, and Distribution
Wk 13: 5/28 Translation into Standard Form
Wk 14: 6/4 Translation cont.
QUIZ 4 (Chaps 7 and 8)
Wk 56: 6/11 The
Three Categorical Operations
(Position Paper due)
Wk 16: 6/18 FINAL EXAM (Chap 8)