BELOW YOU WILL FIND INFORMATION ON:
Critical Thinking is an activity in which we all already engage. Most of us do it in a fairly unskilled and erratic manner. This course is aimed to help students become more reflectively aware of critical thinking and to practice some of the basic skills needed to practice it well.
Note that I say I aim:
I consciously avoid claiming that I can TEACH this skill. I believe the critical thinking "teacher" is sort of in the same position as a coach in a sport. There are basic skills which most serious players will have seen and tried, often adapting some version of these skills into their game. The coach tries to point out, even name the various skills or "moves" and then works with the players to practice the skills. But some will get them and some not, and while discipline, commitment, seriousness of purpose and such things are great virtues and help in considerable measure, critical thinking, like sports, is not something at which a teacher/coach can guarantee success.
I say a good deal more about the details of these skills in a longer essay. It is available on my course web site.
We will read a several short pieces by Corbett about various critical skills, and a three essays which are NOT about critical thinking, but which we will use for practice. I will post all readings to my web site and you will not have any materials to purchase.
|Date||General Class Activity||Class||Assignments and Expectations|
|Tues Oct. 30||Basic introduction to the course and discussion of syllabus and course work||1||Please have carefully read this syllabus and taken a look at the links, especially those connected to assignments.|
|Thurs. Nov. 1||Open discussion of critical thinking skills with a selection from Guy Sorman||2||Read Selection from Guy Sorman's paper on globalization. Also turn in answers the questions on the text.|
|Tues Nov. 6||Continued discussion of Sorman paper||3|
|Thurs.. Nov. 8||Conclusion of discussion ofSorman paper||4||Turn in First analytic paper on the Sorman paper|
|Tues Nov. 13||Open discussion of chapter from Ivan Illich||5||Read Selection from Ivan Illich's DESCHOOLING SOCIETY Also turn in answers the questions on the text.|
|Thurs. Nov. 15||Discussion of Illich's paper. Continue discussion of analytic skills.||6||Turn in analytic paper on Illich's essay.|
|Tues Nov. 20||Conclusion of our discussion of Illich's paper.||7|
|Thurs. Nov. 22||Class will focus fully on critical skills and tools for them.||8||Turn in a four page paper on three of Corbett's papers on criticial thiking.|
|Tues Nov. 27||Begin our discussion of "Why the future doesn't need us" by Bill Joy.||9||Read "Why the future doesn't need us" by Bill Joy. Also turn in answers the questions on the Bill Joy text.|
|Thurs. Nov. 29||Continuation of discussion of Joy paper. Focus on analysis.||10|
|Tues Dec. 4||Continuation of discussion of Joy paper. Add discussion of criticism.||11||Turn in analytic paper on Joy's essay.|
|Thurs. Dec. 6||Conclusion of discussion of Joy paper.||12|
|Tues Dec. 11||Begin our discussion of "Plants of the Gods" by Wade Davis.||13||Read "Plants of the Gods" by Wade Davis. Turn in critical analysis of Bill Joy article|
|Thurs. Dec. 13||Continuation of discussion of Davis essay.||14||Turn in Questions on Davis essay.|
|Tues Dec. 18||Continuation of discussion of Davis essay.||15||Turn in analytic paper on Davis article.|
|Thurs. Dec. 20||Conclusion of discussion of Davis essay.||16||Turn in your critical essay on the Davis article|
Grading: While I will grade each individual assignment, the grade of the course will not be merely the sum of the individual grades. Rather, I will take into account an overall sense of quality in the general tone of one's work. However, the sum of one's individual grades will certainly be a strong indication of where one stands. In a rough sense the assigments will be valued in this fashion:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Given that this is a class in which a great deal of the work is done in class sessions of discussion and working on essays in common, if you are not a student who can be on-time for class and in returning from 10 MINUTES break, or who cannot attend class always, the PLEASE, spare yourself a lot of difficulty and do not take this class.
Three important additional notes:
|My Philosophy Page||Webster U. Philosophy Department|
|Philosophy for Children||Critical Thinking||Current Semester||Education||Existentialism|
|Miscellaneous Topics||Moral Philosophy||Peace Issues||Voluntary Economic Simplicity|
Bob Corbett email@example.com