RCCORE 334 - Special Topics
Section: 001 Logic and Argument
Term: FA 2009
Subject: RC Core Courses (RCCORE)
Department: LSA Residential College
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Argument is the focus of this course, both in symbols and in language.

Argument is the principal instrument of reason. In the humanities, as in the social and natural sciences, the reliability of conclusions reached depends inescapably upon the strength of the arguments marshaled in support of those conclusions. In this course we examine closely the structure of arguments, of many kinds, deductive and inductive, used to support conclusions of importance in many different spheres.

We analyze contemporary controversial arguments — about abortion, the death penalty, and affirmative action. We analyze classical philosophical arguments also — concerning the foundations of religion (in Plato and Hume), and the nature of knowledge (in Descartes and Mill), and the roots of morality in the works of various philosophers.

We examine the inner structure of arguments, the nature and appraisal of deductive validity and proofs of validity, as well as analogical and causal arguments and the foundations of induction and probability. The strands of arguments of every kind are here drawn together.


  • Plato; Euthyphro, Apology, Crito
  • R. Descartes; Meditations on First Philosophy
  • D. Hume; Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • D. Hume; Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
  • J.S. Mill; On Liberty
  • C. Cohen and I. Copi; Introduction to Logic, 13th ed.

RCCORE 334 - Special Topics
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:00PM
W 3:00PM - 5:00PM
002 (SEM)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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