NVCC COLLEGE-WIDE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY
PHI 115 - PRACTICAL REASONING (3 CR)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Studies informal logic and language techniques as they relate to reasoning and argument. Provides practice in analyzing arguments and constructing sound arguments. Lecture 3 hours per week.

GENERAL COURSE PURPOSE

To introduce the student to the principles of informal logic. To develop skills which will enable the student to distinguish sound reasoning from unsound, and which will enable the student to construct a sound argument.

ENTRY LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

None

COURSE OBJECTIVES

At the completion of this course, the student will be able to recognize unsound reasoning, and construct sound arguments. Specifically, the student will be able to:

A. Discuss and define logical terminology, such as "validity," "soundness," "truth," "argument," "premise," "conclusion," etc.

B. Identify informal logical fallacies.

C. Understand the principles of argumentation.

D. Construct a simple, sound argument, avoiding fallacies and adequately supporting his conclusion.

MAJOR ELEMENTS OF CONTENT

Critical attention will be given to the following topics:

A. Language and convention, including speech acts, performatives, statements

B. Conversational implication

C. Language of argument - terminology

D. Close analysis of arguments, sound and unsound

E. Fallacies of relevance and ambiguity

F. Kinds of disagreement

G. Analysis of specific kinds of arguments - legal, scientific, moral, philosophical, historical, etc.

H. Writing logically

Revised 10/95

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