E-mail:email@example.com (I do not accept any assigned work by e-mail except by pre-arrangement)
Office Hours:Mon. 3-5 p.m.; Wednesday3-5; Friday 8-9:30and by appointment.
This syllabus and other class materials can be found on Blackboard 9.
REQUIRED TEXT: Waller, Bruce, Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict, 6th Edition, Pearson Education, Inc. 2012- ISBN 10: 978-0-205-1566-8 or ISBN: 13:-987-0-205-15866-9. (This is also available for rental and in digital form. I also recommend the Oxford Concise English Dictionary or equivalent. COURSE DESCRIPTION
The purpose of this course is to increase your ability to think and reason critically as well as to refine your skills in critical reading and effective writing. All of us want to clearly understand issues, hold reasoned opinions, make good decisions, take the best courses of action, and avoid deception and/or manipulation. The study of logical reasoning will help you develop these skills and thus will be beneficial to your college education, your activities as a citizen, your future career and to your success in life. However, since thinking logically is a skill, it must be first learned and then improved through practice and hard work. The readings, assignments, and class discussion and activities are intended to achieve these ends.
General Education A-3 Goals:
Area A3: Writing-intensive critical thinking and logical reasoning
revised June 2010 Goal 1. Recognize arguments
Objective 1. Distinguish argumentative discourse from other kinds of discourse (e.g. explanation, description, assertion).
Goal 2. Analyze arguments
Objective 1. Identify the conclusion of an argument.
Objective 2. Identify the premise(s) of an argument.
Objective 3. Describe the structure of an argument.
Goal 3. Evaluate arguments
Objective 1. Distinguish deductive and inductive reasoning.
Objective 2. Identify the appropriate criteria for evaluating an argument.
Objective 3. Evaluate the validity of deductive arguments.
Objective 4. Evaluate the strength of inductive arguments.
Objective 5. Recognize common formal and informal fallacies.
Goal 4. Construct arguments
Objective 1. Provide reasons that support a conclusion.
A student who successfully completes this course should be able to:
Recognize various types of arguments and distinguish them from other forms of discourse.
Identify and distinguish premises and conclusions of arguments.
Evaluate the strength of claims and the credibility of sources.
Identify items that are relevant to arguments and fallacies that occur in argumentation.
Analyze and assess how well conclusions are supported by their premises and/or evidence.
Have some understanding of legal reasoning and processes.
HOW TO APPROACH THE COURSE
Preparation: Every 5-unit CSUB course requires about 10 hours of work per week outside of class. Hence you should plan on spending these hours reading the assigned material and reviewing the assigned exercises. Reading the material before you come to class will help you critically process the information give in class.
Seeking help: If you are having trouble with this class the following will be helpful: (1) Do extra homework problems and bring them to me for checking; (2) Come to my office during office hours- bring some homework you are having trouble with. You can also bring friends who are also need help; (3) See the Logical Reasoning Tutor at the OASIS (Take your friends there too); and (4) Form a study group with some classmates- you all may benefit.
Attendance and punctuality: Punctual and regular attendance is expected of all students. Attending a class means arriving on time and staying for the entire class time. Scheduled class time is not the time to make appointments or plan other activities. If you unavoidably miss a class for a serious reason you are responsible for the work covered, including the reading, homework, group work, and anything assigned for the next class. Missing class will influence your performance.
Participation: Thinking critically is a skill that takes practice and feedback. It is like other skills such as basketball and driving. Practice increases one’s ability and comfort level. Thus, class participation and homework assignments are crucial to one’s likelihood in completing the course successfully. Anytime you are in doubt about the material or course requirements, do not hesitate to ask. Ask questions about the material or come to my office and we can clarify and go over materials together.
Homework: There will be homework assignments for almost every class meeting. These selections from the assigned exercises will be collected at the beginning of the class. It is suggested that you make copies of your homework assignments so that you will have the assignment to refer to as the class works on those assignments. – The hand-in homework assignments count for 20% of your grade. If you are having difficulty with a homework assignment, come see me or go to the tutors.
Practice and group work: You will work with different class members on selected exercises assignments and will be called upon as a group to share your answers on the assigned material. Please do you share- all of us can learn from each other and assist each other in developing critical thinking skills.
Note: if you have trouble in the class, here are five things you can do:
1. Do extra homework problems. Practice makes perfect.
3. See the Tutor at the Arts and Humanities Tutoring Center. Take your friends there, too.
4. Form a study group with some classmates. You won’t be the only one who would benefit.
Your success in this course will be assessed through the following requirements and your final grade determined as follows:
Hand in homework assignments- 20%
4 writing assignments- 25%
Four brief quizzes- 15%
Two exams including the final exam- 40%.There will be no make-up quizzes or exams except under extraordinary circumstances. The instructor must be contacted before the exam if possible or be given a written medical excuse.
Writing assignments (25%)
There are four specific writing assignments. The general education guidelines stipulate that this is a writing intensive class. There are two very good reasons for this emphasis. First, good writing involves good thinking and reasoning, Secondly, writing offers evidence of weak or strong reasoning. In all of your assignments, you must write grammatically correct English and follow correct spelling rules. You should use your dictionaries and consult the writing center if you need additional help. Writing assignments turned in late will be given half credit unless you have an excused absence. (Prior notification of the instructor is required to be eligible for an excused absence.) - These writing assignments should follow the guidelines handed out and should be at least three hand-written pages and/or two and a half double-spaced type-written pages. Writing Assignment # 1- Due 1/31
“How Do You Rule”? P. 38- Is Marcia Clark out of order or not and why? “How Do You Rule?” p. 44-Do you sustain the objection or not and why?
Writing Assignment # 3- Due 2/28
- How Do You Rule? - p. 148- Would you rule Dr. Mullis’s lifestyle is irrelevant? Why? Why not? “How Do You Rule? Pp. 151-152- do you sustain the objections or overrule and why?
Writing Assignment # 4- Due 3/15
“How Do You Rule?” pp. 181-82-Is the Lamb’s Chapel case a good analogy? Why or Why not?
“How Do You Rule?”- pp. 199-200- Answer all the questions- about Justice Craig’s analogy; Justice Hutcheson’s argument and the analogy offered by the Supreme Court of Canada’s analogy. Extra Credit- answer the last set of questions about the more elaborate ritual.
Brief quizzes (15%)
There will be four brief quizzes (10minutes) at various times during the quarter. These are
designed to allow you to apply the concepts of logical reasoning introduced in the chapter and class lectures. If you have actively engaged in classroom activities and in preparing carefully the homework assignments, you should be successful on the quizzes. Quizzes will be announced in advance.
Exams (40%) Final Exam: Thursday, March 22nd - 5-:730 p.m.
Two of the exams will cover sections of the course and material discussed in a number of chapters. If you have been mastering the various skills as the class progresses, then these exams should pose no significant problem. I will discuss the format of the exams prior to the exam time. There will be study guides and brief review before each exam. The final exam is cumulative, covering all the material and skills that have been taught and that you have mastered during the entire course. I will discuss the particular format of this exam prior to the time of the exam.
You are encouraged to use a dictionary and to bring it regularly to class. Incorrect spelling on an assignment or exam may lower your grade. Dictionaries may be used for any quiz or exam.
Academic Integrity- The principles of truth and integrity are recognized as fundamental to a community of teachers and scholars. The University expects that both faculty and students will honor these principles and in so doing will protect the integrity of all academic work and student grades. Students are expected to do all work assigned them without unauthorized assistance and without giving unauthorized assistance. Violating the academic integrity violates trust and relationships.
Academic dishonesty (Cheating) is a broad category of actions that involve fraud and deception to improve a grade or obtain course credit. Academic dishonesty (cheating) is not limited to examination situations alone, but arises whenever a student attempts to gain an unearned academic advantage. Plagiarism is a specific form of academic dishonesty which consists of the misuse of published or unpublished works of another by claiming them as one’s own. Plagiarism may consist of handing in someone else’s work as one’s own, copying or purchasing a pre-written composition and claiming it as one’s own, using paragraphs, sentences, phrases, words, or ideas by another without giving appropriate citation or using data and/or statistics compiled by another, without giving appropriate citation. Another example of academic dishonesty is the submission of the same, or essentially the same paper or other assignment for credit in tow different courses without receiving prior approval from the instructors of the affected courses.
If academic dishonesty in any form occurs, I am required to notify the CSUB Dean of Students and CSUB Student Conduct Coordinator. A course grade of ‘F’ may be assigned or another grade penalty may beapplied. Additional academic sanctions such a disciplinary probation, suspension or permanent expulsion may be determined by the student conduct coordinator. I take this matter of betrayal of trust very seriously. If you have questions about this, please ask. Special Needs:To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) as soon as possible. Their office is located in SA 140, and they may be reached at 661-654-3360 (voice), or 661-654-6288 (TDD). If you have an accommodations letter from the SSD Office documenting that you have a disability, please present the letter to me during class or during my office hours as soon as possible so we can discuss the specific accommodations that you might need in this class. Please do let me know of any special needs that you might have.
Letter grades and their percentage equivalents:
------- 87-89=B+ 77-79=C+ 67-69=D+
93-100=A 83-86=B 73-76=C 63-66=D
90-92 =A- 80-82=B- 70-72=C- 60-62=D- Below 60=F
Tuesday 1/10 Introduction to the Class and a fun assignment.
Thursday 1/112 Important terms: Statements, Argument-Chapter 1, pp. 14-18. Homework assignment:
Exercise 2.1- Numbers# 1, 4, 10, 13, 19 and 20.
Exercise 2.2—Numbers 1, 5, 7, 11, 17 and 27.
Tuesday ` 1/17 Kinds of Arguments- Chapter 2, pp. 19-27.
Exercise 2.3- Numbers # 1, 3, 14, 15, and 21.
Exercise 2.4- Numbers# 1,3,14, and 15.
Exercise 2.5- Numbers # 1, 2, 4, 10 and 13
Thursday 1/19 What is the Question? - Chapter 5, pp. 67-75.
Exercise 5.1 – Answer # 1
Exercise 5.2- Numbers # 1, 3 and 5.
Exercise 5. 3- Answer the 4 questions asked by the third
Brief Quiz # 1- Chapters 1 and 2. Juror
Tuesday 1/24 Reasons and Irrelevant Reasons- Chapter 6, pp. 76-91.
Exercise 6.1- Numbers# 1, 3, 5, 9, and 10.
Class Discussion- Exercise 6.1 # 11 and 15. Thursday 1/26 Analyzing Arguments-Chapter 7, pp. 92-109.
Exercise 7.1– Numbers # 2,4,5,6, and 10.
Class Discussion- Exercise 7.2
Tuesday 1/31 Argument Analysis Continued Writing Assignment # 1 Due
Thursday 2/2 Exam # 1- will have first half of class for this exam. Lecture on Ad
Hominem and Testimony in the second half of the class.
Tuesday 2/7 Ad Hominem Arguments and Testimony- Chapter 3, 28-55
Exercise 3.1- Numbers # 1, 3 and 7.
Exercise 3.2- Number # 1, 4, 10, 23, and 26. Thursday 2/9 The Strawman Fallacy, Chapter 4, pp. 56-65.
` Exercise 4.1 – Numbers # 1 and 4
Tuesday 2/14 Appeal to Authority and Eyewitness Testimony- Chapter 10, pp. 140-50; and Chapter 16- pp. 299-309.