Critical reasoning is designed to help cultivate critical thinking skills and to teach students how these skills are employed both in the everyday but also the scientific context. The course is taught through weekly lectures.
This course introduces students to essential concepts in formal and informal logic and demonstrates how these can be applied to natural language. Among other things, the course also teaches students how to identify patterns of argument, how to assess an argument for virtues such as validity, soundness, and relevance, as well as how to structure and present arguments clearly and effectively.
Part 1: Formal and Informal Reasoning
This part of the course teaches students how to identify and avoid common fallacies but also how to develop their abilities to articulate ideas clearly and to argue persuasively. Students are also taught about a variety of different types of reasoning, including deductive and inductive reasoning. They learn how to assess the validity and soundness of arguments as well as the consistency and relevance of premises.
Part 2: Scientific Reasoning
This part of the course introduces students to reasoning in the sciences, covering topics such as the confirmation or refutation of hypotheses, hierarchies of evidence, observational vs. experimental studies, field vs. lab research, different forms of bias, thought experiments, and the basics of data science.
Critical reasoning is taken by all first-year students and forms part of the NCH Diploma. The NCH Diploma complements, enriches and further contextualises your degree. It equips you with an intelligent understanding of the core concepts, arguments and theories that underpin the study of the humanities, and enables you to approach your degree studies in a more rounded and enlightened way.
The NCH Diploma is a noncredit bearing award.