Paul L. Franco
Introduction to logic emphasizing concepts and methods useful for practical analysis of arguments in everyday contexts; meaning, syllogisms, logical diagrams, inductive and statistical inference, informal fallacies, argument structure, perhaps some beginning symbolic logic. Offered: AWSpS.
I believe that the 2008 Phillies were better than the 2001 Mariners. When someone asks ‘Why?’ I should offer a reasoned argument for my belief. Here are two possible reasons I can base an argument around: (1) The 2008 Phillies won the World Series and the 2001 Mariners, despite winning 116 games, did not. (2) Harold Reynolds said that the 2001 Mariners were better than the 2008 Phillies and I dislike Harold Reynolds. This course is designed to give you the tools and concepts to state clearly your intuition that (1) is a better reason than (2) for my belief. The bulk of this course will be spent identifying, dissecting, assessing, evaluating, and analyzing arguments that are a bit more complicated than the one above. Given the massive amount of information we are exposed to on a daily basis, knowing how to do these things well is important. This course will provide you with a framework to process information critically and to make and analyze arguments. We’ll learn how to diagnose flaws and fallacies in arguments and in reasoning. We’ll also investigate the components of good arguments. Our class will help acquaint you with rules dictating acceptable and unacceptable moves in argumentation and reasoning. TEXT: "Reason and Argument", Richard Feldman.
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