PHIL 183 - Critical Reasoning
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Reason better when deciding what to believe, and when deciding what to do. This course provides the tools you need, drawing from several areas: cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, logic, probability, and decision theory. We will consider empirical evidence about 'heuristics and biases’—spontaneous judgments that can be predictably irrational. And we will study what good deductive, causal, and probabilistic reasoning looks like. But the goal is entirely practical: to develop effective reasoning skills with clear applications in your personal and professional lives. Here are some questions we will examine:

  • What kinds of mental processes are involved in reasoning?
  • What’s the difference between intelligence and rationality?
  • How do people tend to go wrong when they reason about probabilities?
  • What makes a line of reasoning valid or strong?
  • When can we infer causation from correlation?
  • Why do people tend to become more certain of the views they started with?
  • Are there strategies we can use to avoid common errors in reasoning?
  • What is evidence, and how does it interact with our background knowledge?
  • Why is there no simple recipe for the scientific method?
  • How does our initial reaction to potential risk tend to be irrational?

Course Requirements:

Assignments will include problem sets and standardized exams.

Intended Audience:

The course is open to students from all areas of the University interested in improving their reasoning ability and their ability to construct and recognize compelling arguments. These skills may be helpful in a wide variety of university subjects and extra-academic pursuits.

Class Format:

2 hr lecture and 1 hr discussion per week

PHIL 183 - Critical Reasoning
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
25875
Open
250
 
-
MW 12:00PM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
P
25876
Open
25
 
-
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
003 (DIS)
P
25877
Open
25
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
004 (DIS)
P
26066
Open
25
 
-
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
005 (DIS)
P
27500
Open
25
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
006 (DIS)
P
31641
Open
25
 
-
Th 5:00PM - 6:00PM
007 (DIS)
P
31642
Open
25
 
-
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
008 (DIS)
P
31643
Open
25
 
-
Th 12:00PM - 1:00PM
009 (DIS)
P
31644
Open
25
 
-
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
010 (DIS)
P
33815
Open
25
 
-
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
011 (DIS)
P
33816
Open
25
 
-
Th 5:00PM - 6:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


ISBN: 1554812674
Critical thinking : an introduction to the basic skills, Author: Hughes, William (William H.), 1936-
Required
ISBN: 9780374533557
Thinking, fast and slow, Author: Daniel Kahneman., Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1st pbk. e 2013
Required
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