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a course schedule for Argument & Inference

Here is the schedule I’m using this fall (2017) for my Intro to Logic course (with Argument & Inference as the primary text): Logic – F17 – schedule.

In addition to Arg & Infer, I’m also using The A Game: Nine Steps to Better Grades (written by my friend Ken Sufka), and so that’s on the schedule. Obviously, The A Game is not integral to teaching a logic or critical thinking course, but if you take it out (and are following the rest of this schedule), then you’ll have to figure out what you want to cover on test 1. I would do either all of appendix A and chapter 1 or chapters 1, 2, and 3 (and maybe a little bit from A.1 in appendix A). On the other hand, if you don’t want to do three tests, then you’ve just got to figure out where the midterm goes (probably covering chapters 1 – 4).

The A Game can also be replaced with a different reading. I’ve done chapter 2 of Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise in the same spot where I have The A Game on this schedule. Alternatively, although I’m not too into teaching fallacies, a class or two on fallacies would fit right after section 1.4 of Arg & Infer.

Since my syllabus includes a lot of stuff that is unlikely to interest anyone else (grading business, rules about cell phones in class, and so forth), I’m not posting it. But if, in addition to the schedule, anyone wants to use or modify my course description, here it is.

 

Course Description 

This course is an introduction to inductive logic. Inductive reasoning, which is the application of inductive logic, is the type of reasoning that people generally use in their day-to-day lives. It is also used in business, finance, public policy, medicine, and the natural and social sciences. Understanding the basics of inductive logic will make you a much more capable participant in many academic areas and in whatever field you choose after graduation.

Most of this course will be spent examining several different types of inductive arguments. Because probability is one of the central concepts in inductive logic, you will also learn the basic rules of probability.

If you are having trouble with any part of this course, please see me during my office hours. Most likely, everything in this course will be new to you, and it will take some work to fully grasp. The course is designed, however, to make working through the material and learning it a straightforward process. But for that, you have to come to class.

 

Learning Objectives

Two goals of this course are learning about the methods of inductive reasoning and becoming comfortable using them. Other, no less important, objectives are improving reading comprehension and problem solving skills—individually and in groups.

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