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Monday, February 6: Logical Fallacies I
Appeal to pity (caveat: these are not always bad)
Bandwagon argument (direct)
Bandwagon argument (indirect)
Begging the question (simple)
Begging the question (circular reasoning)
Wednesday, February 1 & Friday, February 3: Visual Rhetoric (Ad Presentation Assigned)
Dates: February 8, 10, 13, 15, 17.
Directions: Find a partner and exchange contact information. Choose an internet advertisement together and send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Plan a 15-minute presentation in which the two of you discuss the following:
- Overt vs. implied vs. covert theses
- Overall rhetorical strategy (assertive vs. accommodating/deductive vs. inductive)
- Visual vs. written rhetoric
- Loaded words
- Target audience
You’re going to want to work from smaller details like loaded words to larger, overarching claims like author/thesis/target audience.
Be sure to support all of your claims with evidence!
Today’s terms (see Glossary on left for definitions):
thesis: overt, implied, covert
Friday, January 27: Quiz #1 & Monday, January 30: Inductive Arguments
Monday, January 24: Inductive Arguments
Arguments from Authority
1. Article 1. Arguments from science
Monday, January 23 & Wednesday, January 25: Deductive Arguments
Homework: study for Quiz #1 (on assertions and deductive arguments): Friday, January 27
Friday, January 13 (yikes): Truth, Facts, Reality (Redux)
Homework for Wednesday: none
Key course points, so far:
- Critical thinking is a purposeful act.
- The process involves breaking down issues/arguments into pieces, examining those pieces, then reassembling them, to see how whole arguments work.
- Our tools will be the terms and concepts of classical rhetoric. The process is called “rhetorical analysis.”
- First, though, we must look inward and evaluate our own biases, susceptibility to dogmatic thought and peer pressure. Awareness of these helps us maintain the most accurate analytical stance.
- It also helps to be familiar with current political ideologies, for easier identification of patterns in argumentation.
- Repeat after me: “Everything’s an argument!”
Wednesday, January 11: Deconstructing the Self
Homework for Friday: none
Discuss Habits of Critical Thinking Survey
Discussion Packet #1: Deconstructing the Self
Discussion packet #2: All kinds of stuff about “truth” and bias
Here’s a handy infographic illustrating the major American political beliefs. We’ll need this when we start looking at arguments.
Monday, January 9: Deconstructing the Self
My name is Dr. Julie Chisholm. I’ll be your instructor for critical thinking, an important course in your college experience. This semester, we will first define critical thinking, and look at ways we both encourage and discourage it in our lives. Then we will go into the gym: a mental gym, that is, in which we work out with our brains. We will use a tool called rhetorical analysis, the study of argument, to help get our critical thinking muscles into shape. Along the way, we’ll look at a current event—one we’ll choose together, and the arguments made around it. Ideally, you will learn a few things: not just about the pandemic, but about yourself and the way you think. Welcome to our class!
Critical thinking is a purposeful mental activity. ‘Critical’ means to take something apart and analyze it on the basis of standards.” –Michael Baker, Basics of Critical Thinking
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Discussion Packet: Deconstructing the Self