PHIL 1101 - Argument and Critical Thinking
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code PHIL 1101 Course Argument and Critical Thinking Coordinating Unit Philosophy Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Assumed Knowledge ESL students are advised to consult Course Coordinator to discuss enrolment in the course Course Description Argument is an activity we all engage in, with varying results, in every walk of life. Over the last two millennia philosophers have developed powerful methods for classifying arguments, and identifying common errors in reasoning. Argument and Critical Thinking teaches these methods and applies them to real-life arguments, both written and spoken. It is thus an introduction to communication and applied logic. Among the topics we cover are the theory of legal argument, and the science-pseudoscience debate, which gives us a chance to discuss UFOs, parapsychology, Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle and alien abductions!
Course Coordinator: Emeritus Professor Jennifer McMahon
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes1. Introduce students to a range of techniques for improving their reasoning and communication skills;
2. Introduce students to the difference between argument and rhetoric;
3. Develop in students the ability to understand and analyse arguments, both written and spoken;
4. Develop in students the ability to identify errors (particularly the classic fallacies) in arguments.
5. Write clearly structured essays in which arguments are set out, then criticised or defended;
6. Speak relevantly and effectively about arguments;
7. Engage in argumentation with their peers in a productive and constructive manner.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3, 4 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 6, 7 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 4 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 6, 7 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 6 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 7
Required ResourcesTheodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn, How To Think About Weird Things, 7th
edition (McGraw-Hill, 2014). Earlier editions will suffice.
Recommended ResourcesMunson and Black The Elements of Reasoning (5th edition) or Munson, Conway and Black, The Elements of Reasoning (4th edition).
Online LearningVarious online resources are provided and employed in the teaching of this course. Assessment tasks also involve online engagement.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesLectures and Tutorials, On-line component
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.2 x 1 hour lecture per week: 2 hours
1 x 1 hour tutorial per week: 1 hour
1 x 3 hours reading per week (set & recommended texts, relevant online logic tutorials etc): 3 hours
1 x 3 hours preparation for tutorial per week: 3 hours
1 x 3 hours essay and exam preparation each week: 3 hours
Total per week = 12 hours
12 weeks of course: 12 x 12 hrs = 144 hours in total for semester
Learning Activities SummaryLectures 1-14: Deduction, Fallacies, Evaluating Arguments
Lectures 15-24: Legal Reasoning, Induction, Explanation, Fallacies, Rhetoric
Small Group Discovery ExperienceTutorial Small Group Discussion on questions provided online in the previous week.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryEssays, Coursework, Exam
Assessment Related RequirementsAttendance, participation, completion of tasks, online access
Assessment DetailEssays, Coursework, Exam
SubmissionSee the Philosophy Handbook for details
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
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- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
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This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
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- Assessment for Coursework Programs
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- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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