Philosophy (PHIL) 252
Critical Thinking (Revision 9)
PHIL 252 is designed to improve a student's ability to analyse and evaluate the kinds of arguments and theories commonly met with in everyday life. The course also helps students improve their own arguments and presentations by showing them how to draw sound conclusions from available evidence and how to construct well-reasoned cases to support these conclusions.
Although the course focuses on the informal logic of everyday language, it includes some training in elementary formal logic. A student is taught how to apply fundamental rules and standards of logical reasoning to the sorts of arguments encountered in newspapers, magazines and other media, and university-level textbooks in most fields.
- Unit 1: Introduction: The Language of Argumentation
- Unit 2: Analysing Arguments: Content and Structure
- Unit 3: Evaluating Arguments: Validity, Soundness, and Problems of Interpretation
- Unit 4: Syllogistic Reasoning
- Unit 5: Common Fallacies of Reasoning
- Unit 6: Nondeductive Arguments
- Unit 7: The Use and Misuse of Statistics
- Unit 8: Explanations and Empirical Theories
- Unit 9: Conceptual Theories and Definitions
- Unit 10: Writing a Short Critical Essay
The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Cederblom, Jerry, and David W. Paulsen. Critical Reasoning: Understanding and Criticizing Arguments and Theories. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2012. (PDF)
Huff, Darrell. How to Lie With Statistics. 1st ed., 1982.
Students will access all other course materials online.
Challenge for Credit Overview
The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.
Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 9, February 9, 2018.
View previous syllabus