Critical Thinking and Logic

Critical Thinking and Logic

Critical Thinking and Logic provides an introduction to the construction and evaluation of arguments. This learning resource contains a discussion of critical thinking and its relevance in everyday circumstances. Students learn to distinguish between statements of preference and reasoned opinions, and they gain the tools necessary to determine whether they should or should not be persuaded by particular arguments.

Students evaluate inductive arguments for strength and good reasoning, deductive arguments, and first-order logical symbolization, as well as informal fallacies of relevance, presumption, and ambiguity. Students learn to identify both tacit and implicit assumptions, and they are introduced to criteria for examining the reliability of evidence presented in support of conclusions. In the sections devoted to formal arguments, students have the opportunity to create truth tables, and construct proofs.

Games, videos, and other interactive elements motivate students to progress while reviewing the various types of arguments and methods of evaluation. Printable module summaries provide a brief, consolidated review of the key concepts introduced in each module.

 

Module 1: An Introduction To Critical Thinking and Logic

  • Define critical thinking
  • Recognize the benefits of critical thinking for outcomes in life, career, and education
  • Describe the characteristics of critical thinkers and how these characteristics support critical thinking
  • Display the characteristics of a critical thinker when presented with a problem
  • Distinguish between reasoned and unreasoned opinions
  • Recognize opportunities to apply critical thinking skills

Module 2: Concepts of Logic and Critical Thinking

  • Describe the relationship between argument and reasoning
  • Identify inference indicators in arguments
  • Recognize the structure of an argument including premises and conclusions
  • Distinguish between valid and invalid arguments
  • Distinguish between sound and unsound arguments
  • Rewrite arguments in standard form
  • Identify non-arguments and unsupported statements
  • Distinguish between deductive and inductive arguments
  • Distinguish between strong and weak arguments
  • Evaluate the strength of inductive arguments

Module 3: Informal Fallacies

  • Apply basic concepts, rules, and skills for logical reasoning in natural language
  • Develop a working definition of argumentative fallacies
  • Distinguish between good and bad arguments
  • Identify fallacies that violate specific criteria
  • Analyze and reconstruct fallacies that violate specific criteria
  • Evaluate fallacies that violate specific criteria

Module 4: Formal Analysis

  • Distinguish between argument form and argument content
  • Construct truth tables
  • Define various logical relationships and determine when they are applicable in translation
  • Identify the truth conditions of different logical statement types: negations, disjunctions, conjunctions, implications and equivalences
  • Symbolize English statements using the language of formal logic
  • Symbolize English arguments using the language of formal logic

Module 5: Formal Evaluation

  • Explain what a formal proof is and how to set one up
  • Apply multiple rules of inference and rules of equivalence in a single proof
  • Prove an argument valid using inference rules and rules of equivalence

Module 6: Evaluating Assumptions and Evidence

  • Identify and reformulate implicit statements in an argument
  • Identify and formulate tacit statements in an argument
  • Evaluate arguments containing tacit statements
  • Evaluate arguments containing implicit statements
  • Distinguish between warranted and unwarranted assumptions
  • Describe the dangers of ideological reasoning
  • Reflect on the ways in which personal bias can weaken an argument
  • Describe different types of evidence
  • Distinguish between reliable and unreliable evidence

Module 7: Inductive Evaluation

  • Explain inductive evaluation and how it differs from a deductive evaluation
  • Recognize, analyze, and (inductively) evaluate analogical arguments
  • Recognize and explain the different ways of interpreting causal relationships
  • Recognize, analyze, and evaluate causal arguments using Mill’s Methods
  • Understand scientific reasoning and know how to employ hypothetical reasoning

Module 8: Complex Arguments

  • Identify main inferences
  • Identify supporting inferences
  • Identify intermediate conclusions
  • Recognize convergent arguments
  • Recognize complex arguments
  • Diagram complex arguments
  • Evaluate complex arguments