CFI Institute Online - Fall 2012 - "Critical Inquiry: The Appeal to Reason" SCI 201-1112

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - Friday, November 30, 2012

Location: Online Course


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Instructor: David Koepsell, JD, PhD, Asst. Professor of Philosophy at Delft University of Technology, DE
Instructor: John Shook, PhD, CFI director of education, AHA education coordinator

Arguments demand more than arguing, and reasoning requires more than just reasons. Fortunately, philosophers have long known and applied the "laws of thought" that are at the heart of good reasoning and that form the core of logic. This course on Critical Inquiry will explore all of the various tools necessary not just to persuade, but to make logically valid and sound arguments. We will explore formal validity, which helps make arguments incontrovertible, and the tools of inductive reasoning that help to demonstrate the truth of premises. We will also delve a bit into the proper use of rhetoric, combined with logic, to make persuasive arguments. Finally, we will examine some common formal and informal fallacies which you should avoid making and should point out when others make.

This four-module, four week course includes video lectures and a free digital handbook which includes examples, definitions of common terms, methods of proof and testing validity, and problems for you to try on your own. We will also conduct discussion of the lectures and texts in our forum. Once completed, you will have a better mastery of logic and induction, and be more confident in your arguments. You will also be more able to confront common fallacies made by others. As well, Critical Inquiry makes clear the role of logic in science, and shows its vital, ongoing role in all areas of inquiry.

About CFI Institute Online Courses:

CFI 200-level courses are taught at an intellectual level equivalent to an introductory college course. We expect students to participate in the class discussion at their own chosen pace, and there are no other writing requirements and no grading. These classes are entirely online — everything for the course except the book is provided on a CFI website. You will read the course lectures, follow links to other webpages, ask your questions, and participate in class discussion with the instructors and other students on our website.

There is no specific time that you must be online. There is no "live" part to these courses, and you cannot miss anything even if you can only get online at 6am or 11pm — you can log in and participate anytime, day or night, 24/7. A certificate of course completion is available to students who do participate online (as opposed to only lurking and reading, which is also an unobjectionable option for some students). Completion of eight courses at the Expertise 200-level is rewarded with the Institute's Certificate of Expertise.

Online courses are now jointly advertised by the Center for Inquiry and the American Humanist Association, and both organizations encourage their members and affiliates to consider taking them. Online courses are the most visible sign that CFI and the AHA have entered a cooperative relationship on some educational programming. That cooperation is facilitated by Dr. John Shook, who now serves as education coordinator for both CFI and AHA.

This is a one-month course, running from November 1st, 2012 through November 30st, 2012.
: $70 for general registration; $60 for Friends of the Center; or $30 for college students (valid .edu email address required).

Click here to register!

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