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|
|May 21, Mon.||New student orientation -- no classes||1||New student orientaton -- no classes|
|May 23, Wed.||Basic introduction to the course and discussion of syllabus and course work||2||Please have carefully read this syllabus and taken a look at the links, especially those connected to assignments.|
|May 28, Mon.||Open discussion of critical thinking skills with Art Sandler's paper.||3||Read Art Sandler's "Logic in Basketball, Literacy in College"|
|May 30, Wed.||Discussion of Sander's paper. Continue discussion of critical thinking skills.||4||Please think through Sandler's paper and begin to develop ideas of evaluation of his views.|
|June 4, Mon.||Begin our discussion of "Why the future doesn't need us" by Bill Joy. And continue discussion of critical thinking skills.||5||Read "Why the future doesn't need us" by Bill Joy. . Also turn in a critical paper on Art Sandler's essay.|
|June 6, Wed||Continuation of discussion of Joy paper.||6|
|June 11, Mon.||Conclusion of discussion of Joy paper.||7||Turn in a critical paper on Bill Joy's article.|
|June 13, Wed.||Class will focus fully on critical thinking skills and tools for them.||8||Turn in a four paper paper on three of Corbett's papers on criticial thiking.|
|June 18, Mon.||Begin our discussion of "Plants of the Gods" by Wade Davis.||9||Read "Plants of the Gods" by Wade Davis. Turn in ONLY the first page of your critical analysis of this essay -- the analysis.|
|June 20, Wed.||Continuation of discussion of Davis essay.||10|
|June 25, Mon.||Conclusion of discussion of Davis essay.||11||Turn in ONLY the second page of your critical analysis of this essay -- the criticism (evaluation).|
|June 27, Wed.||Begin our discussion of "The Will To Believe" by William James||12||Read "The Will To Believe" by William James." Also turn in ONLY the first page of your critical analysis of this essay -- the analysis.|
|July 2, Mon.||Continuation of our discussion of the William James essay.||13|
|July 4, Wed.||Conclusion of our discussion of the William James essay.||14||Turn in ONLY the second page of your critical analysis of this essay -- the criticism (evaluation).|
|July 9, Mon.||Review of critical skills in preparation for the final exam.||15|
|July 11, Wed.||Final exam||16||Prepare for the final exam by carefully studying the exam text: "Of Miracles" by David Hume.|
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org