2016 Critical Thinking

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Career development courses
Ricinschi Dan  Gonzales Hazel Bantolino 
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Course description and aims

Critical Thinking trains doctoral candidates to form and enhance their ability of being reflective and reasonable in forming opinions and taking decisions, as well as when taking positions or evaluating positions taken by others. The course will emphasize the need of a high standard for the precision of language used for expressing opinions and evaluating the realities of our world. The advantages of attempting to shape a large proportion of one's thinking into the form of an argument, i.e., requiring that all claims are defended with appropriate reasons and evidence, will be outlined. The course also contains a discussion of the various approaches to scientific inquiry, such as induction and deduction, as well as a presentation of logical fallacies that are barriers of critical thinking, including examples taken from scientific research.
The course aims to teach doctoral students to ask the right questions when confronted with their peers' ideas and opinions as well as to properly defend their own. They will also learn to point out and avoid vagueness, ambiguities, lack of evidence, weaknesses in argumentation, contradictions, and omissions in both written and oral communications.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will:
1. understand the importance of critical thinking for their proper functioning in and out of their chosen society.
2. acquire and enhance the ability to recognize their own or other people's valid and good arguments.
3. avoid critical thinking lapses that could prevent them from forming the right opinion on a topic or performing the optimal action


critical thinking, claim, evidence, argument, logical support

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The number of people of this class and 「Master's Critical Thinking」are added and they are a maximum of 30 students (If needed, a selection process will take place). The course will be offered once per academic year, in the 3Q. Students will attend the classes for 7 weeks, alternating in Ookayama and Suzukakedai campus in different years. Main format of each class will be a lecture given by the instructor, with students as audience as well as participating in class exercises. A number of individual written homeworks will also be assigned, which will be evaluated by the instructor.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Importance and role of Critical Writing Importance of Critical Thinking for ensuring one's personal autonomy in life in general as well as in their chosen profession
Class 2 Clarifying meaning by use of proper language as a prerequisite of Critical Thinking Importance of corectly defining concepts precisely, unambigously and specifically
Class 3 Assertions and Basics of Arguments Components of an argument, and how to distinguish an argument from other kinds of logical discourse
Class 4 Evaluating the validity and acceptability of arguments How to evaluate for logical support inside an argument and what other conditions are necessary in order to accept the conclusion of an argument.
Class 5 Particular types of argumentative discourse I Using the correct terminology in recognizing particular types of reasoning, with emhasis of validity and acceptability of such arguments
Class 6 Particular types of argumentative discourse II Using the correct terminology in recognizing particular types of reasoning, with emhasis of validity and acceptability of such arguments
Class 7 Logical Fallacies of Critical Thinking How to avoid critical thinking lapses that could prevent forming the right position on a topic or performing the optimal action


None-learning materials will be provided by instructors

Reference books, course materials, etc.

A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking by David A. Hunter

Assessment criteria and methods

60% homework assignments, 40% participation in class activities

Related courses

  • None.

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).


Office hours

Tuesdays from 14.00 to 16.00 (by appointment)

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