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 informal and formal logic, and the second component is on critical writing. Topics in the first component pertaining to informal logic include: general argumentation theory, argument identification, argument diagramming and mapping, and informal fallacy identification. Topics in the first component pertaining to formal logic include: validity and soundness, the syntax and semantics of the formal language of propositional logic, translation from natural language to formal language, truth-table analysis, and either truth-tree analysis or natural deduction as a procedure for determining the formal validity of arguments. Topics in the second component come from contemporary moral, political, and social issues as presented in the media or in professional scholarly journals. Topics are often taken from the NPR program Intelligence Squared, the New York TImes, the Atlantic, and Philosophy Journals.