Philosophy-111 Critical Thinking And Writing:

Course Syllabus







Professor Mark McIntire

Office Hours:

Office hours for online students are by SKYPE/FACE TIME appointment
Office hour for onsite students is from 5-6 pm Thursday IDC Room 211



email me to set up a SKYPE/FACE TIME conference: Mark McIntire



Key Concepts


Topic 1:

Basic Logical Concepts

Reading Assigned:

Pages  15 - 22

What Logic Is and Is Not

Propositions/Sentences. Arguments Premises, and Conclusions

Analyzing Arguments. Validity/Soundness

 Induction / Deduction

Exam #1

Basic Logic Concepts

Topic 2:

Informal Fallacies

Reading Assigned

Pages 23 - 34

Informal Fallacies of:




Exam #2

Informal Fallacies

Essay #1

Inductive Argument

Topic 3:

Categorical Logic

Reading Assigned

Pages 37 – 62

Categorical Terms

Categorical Propositions

Quantity & Quality

Square of Opposition.

Distribution of a Terms

Exam #3

Categorical Logic

Topic 4:

Categorical Syllogisms

Reading Assigned


63 – 89

Syllogistic Reasoning.

Major, Minor and Middle terms.

Immediate Inferences.

Mood & Figure.

Venn Diagrams.

The Six Rules.

Syllogism Evaluator

Exam #4

Categorical Syllogisms

Topic 5:

Arguments in Ordinary Language

Reading Assigned

Pages 89 -91

Ordinary Language

Translating everyday language into categorical propositions and syllogisms

Essay #2

Inductive Argument

Topic 6:


Value Arguments:



Reading Assigned

Pages 121 - 174

Art of Refutation

Refuting Definitions

Refuting Weak Induction

Refuting Ethical Theories

Topic 7:

Causal Reasoning

Reading Assigned

Pages 134 – 156

Inductive Reasoning:

Induction by Analogy

Induction by Cause

Induction by Scientific Method

Francis Bacon

John Stuart Mill

Karl Popper

Topic 8:

 Causal  Reasoning

Defines the necessary and sufficient conditions for ' of something to be the cause' of some other thing.

Topic 9:

Analogical Reasoning

Defines inductive limits of ananlogical arguments

Topic 10:

Term Paper

Final Refutation Exam

Final Exam: Format, Content, Dates

Required e-Textbook:


REQUIRED TEXT for this course:

eBook2013Reason Argue Refute
Critical Thinking About Anything 

by Mark McIntire

Format: All digital devices: Secure PDF File 242 pages
Publisher: University Village Press 2007
Language: English
ISBN 978-1-60461-051-2
PDF Edition for Current Students


*** Available DIRECTLY Through This Site ***eBook Secure PDF Edition


Click "Buy Now" Button to order 

 text order

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course the student should be able to:

1.Identify arguments:
......a)distinguish arguments from descriptions, explanations, exhortations, and
......b)identify premises and conclusions.

2. Distinguish knowledge from belief and factual claims from opinions.

3. Identify informal fallacies.

4. Distinguish between valid/invalid, sound/unsound, strong/weak, and/or good/bad cogent arguments.

5. Analyze and evaluate arguments from a variety of sources in terms of structure, language use, type of reasoning, evidence offered, point of view, assumptions and implications.

6. Demonstrate proficiency (precision, clarity, organization) in argumentative writing, where positions are defended and ideas explored.
(Source: Philosophy Department Student Learning Outcomes)





All written assignments are posted on the CANVAS HOME PAGE and due on the appointed dates for online students notified by email through CAMVAS. Late assignments will be accepted with penalty only.

Since there are 16 weeks in the term, and there are 4 in class exams, plus 2 essays, you will have an exam or an assignment every two weeks in this course. Exact exam dates will be announced one week in advance.


Advisory! Your final grade is not merely a matter of quantitative "points" earned from exams, essays term paper and final refutation paper. Your diligent attendance as well as your ability to complete all assignments on time will be factored into your "final" grade for this course. But it will be your qualitative, demonstrated ability to formulate clear, valid and sound arguments with lines of refutation for those arguments that will determine your final grade in this course.

A few Examples of failed logical reasoning about grades:

"I get 'A's in all my other classes except this one.

"I need to pass this course in order to get my degree."

"I studied extra hard."

"I completed all of the assignments to the best of my ability."

"I read all the assigned material. Twice!"

"I've never taken a course like this before"

Grades will be determined by an accumulation of quantitative points and qualitative skill with assignments completed as assigned according to the following PLUS / MINUS POINTS OUT OF 1000 POINT criteria:

A (901-1000 points) Superior comprehension, analysis and presentation of all assigned course work together with thoughtful insights and reflections on course topics.......
901----940 = A - ... 941----950 = A....951---1000 = A +

B (801-900 points) Excellent comprehension, analysis and presentation of all assigned course work together with significant insights and reflections on course topics...... 801----840 = B - ... 841----850 = B....851----900 = B +

C (701-800 points) Adequate comprehension, analysis and presentation of all assigned course work together with appropriate insights and reflections on course topics.......701----740 = C- ... 741----750 = C....751----800 = C +

D (601-700 points) Inadequate comprehension, analysis and presentation of all assigned course work yet lacking insight and reflection on course topics.......................601----640 = D- ... 641----650 = D ....651----700 = D +

F (0-500 points) Fails to meet the minimum College/University standards for all required course work.

Argumentative Essays (2 @ 100 points ea.) = 200
Exams (4 @ 100 points ea.) = 400
Final Exam (200 points ea.) = 200
Term Paper (200 points) = 200

Policies and Procedures:

Class Participation: Absence from class will have a profound effect on your final grade. Successful students will be those who actively and effectively participate in the classroom discussions of topics from the text readings. Mere physical presence does not constitute active and effective participation. Students are encouraged to apply their critical thinking skills to contemporary topics during these discussions.

Disruptive Student Behavior: Any student exhibiting 'disruptive behaviors' as defined by the appropriate SBCC policies and published in the student handbook will be removed from class immediately and not allowed to return.

Make-up exams: Decisions on make-up exams will be made on a case by case basis and then only for just cause. There will be NO MAKE-UP for the final exam.

Term papers: Each student will write a 6-10 page term paper on an approved topic which applies the principles of critical thinking learned in this class. All papers must be word-processed, grammar and spell checked and use APA accepted format. Term papers are due on a date to be announced in class. They will be graded and returned, in class, in time for your final exam. Late papers will have 25 points deducted from the total 200 possible points. This will enable each student to know their grade point count before they take the final exam. TERM PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY EMAIL.

***ONLINE STUDENTS: Term papers are due on a date to be announced via e-mail. They will be graded and returned, via email, in time for your final exam.