Jan 16, 2021  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHL 126 Critical Reasoning Through Writing

3 Credit(s) W-I
The goal of the course is to foster important cognitive and communicative skills through the use of various writing exercise.  Students will consider the structure of arguments (premise, inferences and conclusions) and the differences between inductive and deductive logic.  Students will study how some uses of language, especially ambiguous, vague or emotive terms, detract from good reasoning and how writers can remedy these defects.  Students will learn to recognize some common informal fallacies.  Students will examine several concepts essential in scientific and other inductive inquiries, including casual reasoning, inductive generalizations, statistical reasoning, analogical reasoning and reasoning from accepted authority.  The course will apply all of these lessons to both formal and informal pieces of writing generated in the process of reading, analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing and evaluating several genres of philosophical writing—viz. professional journal articles, essays on popular culture, philosophers’ blog, and opinion editorials.  In exposing students to genres of writing beyond the scope of strictly professional academic literature, the course will also help students to gain greater media literacy and deeper understanding of the way media works.  Critical Reasoning through Writing is recommended for students in all majors.  Not open to students who have received credit for PHL125 or PHL201.