EGL 220: Critical Thinking, VMU, July 30-August 18, 2023

Jan van Grevenbroeck (1731-1807). Alternatively Grevenbroeck, Jan the Younger (fl. 17th cent.) / Public domain

Important Links


Textbook: Critical Thinking, a Student’s Introduction, Basham, et al (please see ISE for a link)

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Xin Chao! Welcome to our Class!

                      • Day 1: Monday, July 30: What is Critical Thinking/Deconstructing the Self/Intro. to AI

                        Xin Chao!  My name is Dr. Julie Chisholm.  I’m a professor of Culture and Communication at the California State University, Maritime Academy.  I’ll be your instructor for critical thinking, an important course in your college experience.  This short 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, or the study of argumentation, to help get our critical thinking muscles into shape.  Along the way, we’ll look at a current event—in this case, artificial intelligence or AI , and the arguments made around it.  Ideally, you will learn a few things:  not just about future of technology, 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


                        What is your name? What is your major? What is your favorite app on your phone and why? What is your favorite brand (shoes, clothing, computers, etc.)?

                        Discussion Packet: Deconstructing the Self

                        What are some things that get in the way of critical thinking?

                        1. Passive or lazy thinking (“Five Ways that Technology has Made us Lazy”)
                        2. Holding tightly to ideas about how the world works (e.g. “facts” and “reality”). Video: Dogmatism
                        3. Fear of not “fitting in” with the crowd (peer pressure). Video: Peer Pressure Psychology

                        Habits of Critical Thinking Survey

                        Typical “Western” viewpoints. Here’s a handy infographic.

                        Take this survey at Political Compass and put your plotted dot here.

                        Class Topic: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

                        Videos: What is AI and this: Stunning AI shows how it would kill 90% (YouTube)

                        Homework: Review Chapter 1: Critical Thinking, a Student’s Introduction

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