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PHIL 152 course cover

Philosophy (PHIL) 152
Basic Critical Thinking (Revision 5)

Revision 5 closed, replaced by current version.

View previous syllabus

Delivery mode: Individualized study or grouped study.

Credits: 3 - Humanities

Prerequisite: None.

Centre: Centre for Global and Social Analysis

PHIL 152 is not available for challenge.


PHIL 152 is a preparatory course in critical thinking that focuses on comprehension tools and skills and the development of critical capacities in application to both reading and writing. The course teaches an active, critical approach to the student's own written work.


PHIL 152 comprises the following ten units. Units 1 to 5 focus on comprehension tools and skills. Units 6 to 10 focus on the development of critical capacities in application to both reading and writing.

Unit 1: Introduction: Purpose, Topic, and Main Idea

Unit 2: Reading Actively

Unit 3: What Does it Mean? Understanding Complicated Sentences

Unit 4: Writing Functions and the Organization of Ideas

Unit 5: Integrated Reading, Writing, and Thinking

Unit 6: Critical Thinking: Relevance and Completeness

Unit 7: Standards of Evaluation

Unit 8: More Standards of Evaluation

Unit 9: Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

Unit 10: Focus on Argumentation


To receive credit for PHIL 152, you must complete all assignments required and achieve a composite course grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Exercise 1 Exercise 2 Exercise 3 Exercise 4 Course Project Total
10% 10% 20% 20% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Flachmann, Kim, Michael Flachmann, and Alexandra MacLennan. 2004. Reader's Choice. 4th Canadian ed. Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Mayfield, Marlys. 2004. Thinking for Yourself: Developing Critical Thinking Skills Through Writing, 6th ed. Boston: Thompson Heinle.

Other Materials

The course materials also include two study guides and a student manual.