Critical Thinking

Course Code: GCRT 100

Academic Year: 2017-2018

We live in a world awash in data and facts from the internet, television, newspapers and podcasts, to name only a few. It is often said that facts speak for themselves. But any casual analysis will reveal that they rarely speak for themselves and facts and data are usually presented within the context of an argument. It is fair to say that good facts and data will only be as good as the argument that is used to frame them. It is critical, therefore, to be able to assess not only the raw data and facts but the logic of the arguments that frame the facts. In this course, we will consider the structure of arguments. To this end, common fallacies of reason, the different forms of constructing an argument and the rhetorical devices used to mask a bad argument will all be considered. Using examples from contemporary media, this course will improve students' ability to evaluate the reliability of the stream of information we encounter every day. This course is only for students in the General Arts & Science program.