Introduction: Logic & Critical Reasoning
This course will be an introduction to logic and critical reasoning. The course is divided into two components. The first component is on formal and informal logic, and the second component is on critical writing for contemporary moral and social issues. Topics in the first component include: argument identification, argument diagramming, concepts pertaining to the syntax and semantics of propositional logic, translation of English sentences into propositional logic, truth-table analysis, truth-tree analysis, natural deduction, and informal fallacies identification. In the first component, attention will be given both to philosophical questions concerning theories of formal logic and informal logic, and its application to problem solving and the development of critical thinking skills. Topics in the second component will be taken from National Public Radio's program "Intelligence Squared". Topics include: the morality of torture, corporate social responsibility, the ethics of media, health care reform, the permissibility of organ sales, and prostitution.