Critical Thinking (long seminar without exam)

Critical Thinking is an introductory course in the principles of good reasoning. Its main focus lies in arguments, their nature, their use and their import. Unlike a course in pure Logic, which would spell out universal formal rules of correct reasoning, Critical Thinking is more concerned with the unruly nature of real argumentation that does not allow unambiguous and definite formalization. The course is designed to serve as a methodical preparation for more effective reasoning and improved cognitive skills. Its ambition is to develop those intellectual dispositions that are essential for effective evaluation of truth claims as well as for making reasonable decisions based on what we know orbelieve to know. It is more about the quality of our beliefs and the reasons that support them than about their content. It will make ample use of examples taken from real world case studies, books, scientific or newspaper articles. Students will be encouraged to participate in the discussion over each example, and to find out more of their own.