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In this class, students will learn how to think more critically by questioning assumptions and biases and being aware of fallacies. Students will learn to interpret and write deductive and inductive arguments and apply to real-life situations.

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Assignments & grading

This is a pass/fail course. Students are required to complete all 13 Challenges (formative assessments), 4 Milestones (summative assessments), and 1 Touchstone (project-based or written assessments) with an overall score of 70% or better.

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Learning outcomes

<p>At the end of the course, you'll be able to:</p> <ul><li>Define the characteristics of critical thinking and describe its importance for professional and personal success.</li><li>Describe some of the barriers to good critical thinking, including closed-mindedness and bias.</li><li>Analyze arguments to spot common fallacies, including formal fallacies with logical errors, and informal fallacies that misdirect or include irrelevant information.</li><li>Translate natural language arguments into standard form.</li><li>Evaluate arguments for validity or soundness using non-rigorous techniques.</li><li>Analyze and translate more nuanced and complicated forms of argument in natural language, such as those using rhetorical techniques like assuring, guarding, and discounting, and those with hidden premises.</li><li>Use a more rigorous method for testing arguments for validity.</li><li>Use the process of proofs for showing deductive reasoning based on common rules of inference.</li><li>Use diagrams and reasoning to test or prove categorical statements and relational statements.</li><li>Analyze inductive arguments depending on their purpose, including causal reasoning, explanatory reasoning, analogical reasoning, and statistical generalizations.</li><li>Analyze inductive arguments based on laws of probability, both pure probability such as gambling scenarios and those that apply laws of probability to statistical generalizations.</li><li>Analyze statements for use of hidden premises using evaluative language.</li><li>Engage in moral reasoning based on moral truths and moral duty.</li></ul>
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