Phil 125 F10: Schedule and Syllabus

The Date for Midterm 1 has been moved to September 27th.

PHILOSOPHY 125: Critical Thinking
Fall 2010
Section 4610  MW 9:30-10:45    Location: F-506

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Ian Duckles
        Office Hours: By Appointment

TEXTBOOK: Introduction to Logic, 13th Edition, Irving M. Copi & Carl Cohen, Pearson, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2009. (This text is required. We will use it daily in class.) You may use the 12th edition of the text.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “Introduction to critical thinking with emphasis on analyzing and constructing both inductive and deductive arguments. Critical reasoning will be applied to a variety of situations such as making sound decisions, evaluating claims and assertions, avoiding fallacious reasoning, etc.” (Grossmont College Catalogue 2008-2009, p. 192).

COURSE OBJECTIVE: Students will learn the basic elements of critical thinking with a particular focus on logical fallacies and then will learn to apply these tools to real world problems and issues.

COURSE CALENDAR (topics and important dates included): Homework will be due daily and assignments will be announced in class. Do not be concerned if we fall ahead or behind on this schedule. The most important goal is that everyone understand the concepts and problems. This schedule is subject to change. All changes will be announced in class and posted on the course website.
 Week 1
August 23
Syllabus, Policies, Introductions
  August 25
Chapter 1: Basic Logical Concepts
    Have read: pp 4-36
Homework: Study for a vocabulary quiz on Monday.
Find two arguments and identify the premises and conclusions in those arguments.
 Week 2
August 30
Chapter 2: Analyzing Arguments.
    Have Read: pp. 37-70. 
Homework: 13th Edition: Page 35, #'s 1-8.
For users of the 12th Edition: Page 20 #'s 1-8.
  September 1
Chapter 2: Analyzing Arguments Con’t.
    Have Read: pp. 37-70.
Homework: 13th Edition: Page 39-41, #'s 5, 6, 7, 10.
For users of the 12th Edition: Page 29 #3, Page 38 #5, Page 39 #9, Page 42 #13. 
 Week 3
September 6
NO CLASS. Enjoy the Holiday!
  September 8
Diagramming Continued
Homework 13th Edition pages 49-50 Exercise A #'s 2-10
For users of the 12th Edition: pages 41-44 #,s 2-5, 7-9, 14, 16.
 Week 4
September 13
More Diagramming
Homework: Pages 58-59, #'s 1-4.
For users of the 12th Edition: Pages 56-59, #'s 1, 3, 5, 10.
  September 15
Chapter 3: Language and Definitions.
    Have Read: pp. 71-117
Homework: Pages 73-75, Exercise A #'s 1-10. (12th Edition: Pages 75-76, Exercise I, #'s 1-10) 
Find one example of each of the five types of definitions.
 Week 5
September 20
Continue Chapter 3: Language and Definitions Continued
  September 22
Midterm review
 Week 6
September 27
FIRST MIDTERM (15% of Grade)
  September 29
Chapter 8: Symbolic Logic Con’t.
    Have Read: 315-339
Homework: Pages 327-331. Section A #'s 1-10; Section B #'s 1-10; Section C #'s 1-5; Section D #'s 1-10. For section D draw truth tables for problems 1-5.
For users of the 12th Edition: Pages 318-22. Section I #'s 1-10; Section II #'s 1-10; Section C #'s 1-5; Section IV #'s 1-10. For section IV draw truth tables for problems 1-5.
 Week 7
October 4
Continue Symbolic Logic
Homework: Pages 339-341. Section A #'s 1-10, 21-25; Section B 1-5; Section C #'s 1-5, 21-25.
For users of the 12th Edition: Pages 329-331. Section I #'s 1-10, 21-25; Section II 1-5; Section III #'s 1-5, 21-25.
  October 6
Continue Symbolic Logic
Homework: Pages 345-46; Group B #'s 1-15, determine the validity or invalidity using truth tables.
For users of the 12th Edition; Page 335; Group B #'s 1-15, determine the validity or invalidity using truth tables.
 Week 8
October 11
Continue Symbolic Logic
    Have Read: 342-349
Homework: Pages 355-56: Section B #'s 1-5; Section C, #'s 1-5.
For users of the 12th Edition: Pages 344-45: Section II #'s 1-5; Section III #'s 1-5.
  October 13
Continue Symbolic Logic
    Have Read: 342-349
Homework: Page 355-56: Section B #'s 6-10. Page 362: Section B #'s 1-5; Section C #'s 1-10.
For users of the 12th Edition: Page 344-45: Section II #'s 6-10. Page 350-51: Section II #'s 1-5; Section III #'s 1-10.
 Week 9
October 18
Review for Midterm
  October 20
SECOND MIDTERM (15% of Final Grade)
 Week 10
October 25
    Readings Announced in Class
Homework: Find two claims in the news and write a brief discussion answering the following two question: Is the claim itself plausible? Who is the source of the claim?
  October 27
Credibility continued
 Week 11
November 1
Credibility concluded
Homework: Find a news story in the Mainstream Media about Wikileaks and write a 1-2 page paper in which you examine that story in terms of the five filters. This is due next Monday, November 8.
  November 3
Chapter 4: Fallacies
    Have Read: 141-177
 Week 12
November 8
Homework: Find examples of five different slanters. Also, please bring your textbook to class.
  November 10
Slanters Con't.
Homework: Pages 137-139 #'s 7-15. Also, find one example of each of the four Fallacies of Defective Induction (Argument from Ignorance; Appeal to Inappropriate Authority; False Cause; Hasty Generalization).
 Week 13
November 15
Homework: Pages 167-68: 1-10 odd (Fallacies of Ambiguity); Page 169-171: Section C, #’s 1-10
  November 17
Introduction of Essay Prompt
Watch Film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
 Week 14
November 22
Continue Film
  November 24
Chapter 13: Science and Hypothesis
    Have Read: 559-587
 Week 15
November 29
Theory of Evolution
  December 1
 Week 16
December 6
In-Class Peer Editing
  December 8
Review for Final Exam

The Final Exam will be on Monday, December 13 from 9:30 AM-11:30 AM in Room F-506


Grading:    15% Midterm Examination 1
15% Midterm Examination 2
20% Final Examination
10% Final Paper Due Last Day of Class. Though this is only worth 10% of your grade failure to complete this assignment of the associated pre-writing will result in an F in the course.
20% Homework. Homework will be due at the start of the class for which it is assigned. I will not accept late assignments.

20% Pop Quizzes. These will be given at the start of class, they cannot be made up if missed.

A: 93-100 %

A-: 90-92 %

B+: 88-89 %

B: 83-87 %

B-: 80-82 %

C+: 78-79 %

C: 70-77 %

D: 60-69 %

F:  <60 %


Student Responsibility to Drop/Withdraw: It is the student’s responsibility to officially add, drop, or withdraw from the course stated in the class schedule. Failure to do so can result in a failing grade.

Class Attendance: A student may be disenrolled from the course after two absences; however, a student will be disenrolled from the course after eight absences without exception. (This count will begin at the first session of Week 3.) ATTENDANCE IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THIS PARTICULAR COURSE.

Tardiness/Early Departure: If a student arrives unreasonably late or leaves early without notifying the instructor before the event, then that student will be considered absent for that class session.

Professionalism: It is assumed that students will conduct themselves in a professional manner with a positive attitude. An open mind is one of the most important tools required for success in academia. If a student is negative and feels as is there is nothing of value to be gained by the college experience or this course, he or she will not do well in this course.

Student Code of Ethics and Conduct: Students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct published in the Grossmont College Catalogue 2006-2007 24-25. Students who obstruct the instructor’s ability to convey knowledge, or disrupt their fellow students’ ability to learn, will be dealt with under the terms delineated in the Grossmont College Student Code of Conduct. Such dealings may include, but are not limited to, warnings, written reprimands, disciplinary probations, instructor-initiated suspensions, terminations of financial aid, short or long-term suspensions from campus, and temporary or permanent expulsions. These consequences are serious and can easily be avoided.

Examples of disruptive activities that will not be tolerated are: repeated cell phone ringing, repeatedly falling asleep in class, excessive talking, texting, passing of notes, entering and leaving class several times during a session, verbal rudeness directed towards the instructor and/or other students, and non-verbal rudeness directed towards the instructor and/or other students. Finally, ACADEMIC DISHONESTY IS GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL FROM THE COURSE. If you are unsure of what academic dishonesty is, ask the instructor.

This instructor is charged with maintaining a positive learning experience for all students in this course, and that responsibility is a serious one. Disruptive behaviors will not be tolerated in this course.

TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN THIS COURSE (Thanks to Professor June Yang):

  1. Be optimistic about your ability to learn from the textbook, the instructor, and each other.
  2. Do all homework. It will be collected every time, and spot-checked.
  3. Do all assigned reading.
  4. If you find you fall behind in your understanding, contact the instructor.
  5. Be prepared to spend at least two hours per hour spent in class in order to master this material. If you do not, you probably will not receive a grade of C or better.
  6. Have confidence in your ability to do the work.
  7. Use all resources at your disposal.
  8. Remember that you are gifted with more education and intelligence than many persons on this planet. If you try, you are sure to get it, or at least most of it!
  9. Remember that we are all here to learn.
  10. Remember that you are being trained, or acquiring a skill. Studying, like anything else, is a craft, i.e. an activity. No one is born a good student; we must all transform ourselves into excellent students.
Academic Integrity: Cheating and plagiarism (using as one’s own ideas, writings or materials of someone else without acknowledgement or permission) can result in any one of a variety of sanctions.  Such penalties may range from an adjusted grade on the particular exam, paper, project, or assignment to a failing grade in the course.  The instructor may also summarily suspend the student for the class meeting when the infraction occurs, as well as the following class meeting.  For further clarification and information on these issues, please consult with your instructor or contact the office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities who may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and contact Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) early in the semester so that reasonable accommodations may be implemented as soon as possible. Students may contact DSPS in person in room A-113 or by phone at (619) 660-4239 (voice) or (619) 660-4386 (TTY for deaf) or online at
Ian Duckles,
Aug 28, 2010, 9:53 AM