PHIL 183 - Critical Reasoning
Section: 001
Term: FA 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)
 
27605
Open
1
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:00PM
002 (DIS)
P
27606
Closed
0
 
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W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (DIS)
P
27607
Closed
0
 
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Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
004 (DIS)
P
27608
Closed
0
 
-
W 2:00PM - 3:00PM
005 (DIS)
P
27609
Open
1
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
006 (DIS)
P
27610
Closed
0
 
-
W 2:00PM - 3:00PM
007 (DIS)
P
27611
Closed
0
 
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W 5:00PM - 6:00PM
008 (DIS)
P
27612
Closed
0
 
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F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
009 (DIS)
P
27613
Closed
0
 
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Th 1:00PM - 2:00PM
010 (DIS)
P
29267
Closed
0
 
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W 2:00PM - 3:00PM
011 (DIS)
P
29268
Closed
0
 
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W 2:00PM - 3:00PM
012 (DIS)
P
30384
Closed
0
 
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F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


Note:
This is an online textbook on the TopHat Textbook platform. I recommend getting the subscription and textbook through TopHat directly: it should be $26 total for the platform subscription and text together. (It may be more expensive through the bookstore; however, if you have textbook funding through the university, you may need to use the bookstore.) Note that the textbook will NOT be available until the first week of class.
ISBN: 9781773307077
Reason Better, Author: David Manley, Publisher: Tophat Textbook
Required
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for PHIL 183 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
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