Home > Andre Ariew, Lectures > Lecture One

Lecture One

* course overview

Why study critical thinking?

This course is designed to be the foundational course of your college education. That’s a bold statement, but it comes close to truth. This is the course where you learn the rules for arguments; you will learn to critique and assess them. Everything you learn in college will be implicitly or explicitly based on an argument. Hence, a course that teaches you the rules of arguments counts as a foundational course.

Every American should take a course like this. Again, that’s a bold statement. However, as American citizens you are asked to vote about issues and candidates that will affect much of your lives and livelihoods. If you cannot reason properly, then your choices will be poor. First step, acquire the tools of reasoning to think for yourself. Acquiring the tools is what this course is about.

* etiquette

Class policies

No talking on cell phones. Mute the ringer. No text messaging. No reading of other material during class. No laptops, smartphones, tablets (like ipads). (We recommend good old fashion pen and paper. Tablets and stone cutting tools are allowed if you promise to clean up your mess).

This syllabus does not represent a binding document. I reserve the right to change anything on the syllabus, including grading policies. I am the final arbitrator of decisions concerning the class material or policies, including grading policies.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the academic community must be confident that each person’s work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards breaches of the academic integrity rules as extremely serious matters. Sanctions for such a breach may include academic sanctions from the instructor, including failing the course for any violation, to disciplinary sanctions ranging from probation to expulsion. When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, collaboration, or any other form of cheating, consult the course instructor. Reminder: the statement above extends (by definition) to all activities in the class. That includes the practice of signing attendance sheets. Examples of dishonest behavior include (the list is not exclusive): signing in for someone else who intends to be absent, signing in and leaving (without excuse–see “excused absence” policy) before the class hour is finished. Official procedures will be initiated for violators of academic integrity.

I. Class overview:

Good arguments

* deductive (validity and soundness, informally and technically)

* nondeductive – induction – analogy – inference to the best explanation


* probability theory

* decision theory

* causal reasoning



Philosophy is one of several disciplines that studies arguments. What’s distinctive?

Rhetorical vs. Philosophical arguments.

* rules of rhetoric as presented by Aristotle 384 BC – 322 BC

Ethos: appeal to authority

An Ethos Argument

Pathos: appeal to emotion

A Pathos Argument

Logos: appeal to reason.

Logos in action.

(Best example that mixes all three is King’s I have a dream speech. Watch it again:

* philosophical arguments are logos based.

Categories: Andre Ariew, Lectures
  1. August 24, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Hi. Im Ashley Rogers from Tuesday’s 10am discussion.

  2. Nicholas Patitucci
    August 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Hello. I’m Nick Patitucci from Tuesday’s 8am discussion.

  3. August 24, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Hey. I’m Josh Payton from Tuesday’s 8:00 a.m. discussion.

  4. August 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Hello Everyone, Good job on the comments!


  5. August 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Hey. I’m Hayden Harper from Tuesday’s 9:00 a.m. discussion.

  6. James Green
    August 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Hey. I’m James Green from Tuesday’s 8.00 a.m. discussion.

  7. August 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Hello! I’m Elise Ferron from Tuesday’s 9 am discussion. thanks!

  8. Haley VanHooser
    August 25, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Hello! I’m Haley from Mondays 10 am section!

  9. August 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Hello, I’m Christopher Scott from Tuesdays at 9am discussion

  10. Max Lanham
    August 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Hey, I’m Max Lanham from the 8 AM tuesday discussion

  11. Colleen Mooney
    August 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Hey im Colleen Mooney from Mondays 12 pm discussion

  12. August 30, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Hello, I’m Matt Porter from the 10am Monday discussion.

  13. Jason Artz
    August 30, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Hey, I’m Jason from the 9am Monday discussion.

  14. September 22, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Hey, I’m Emily from the 10am Tuesday discussion.

  1. August 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: