Critical Thinking

Number of ECTS: 6   Price: 720 €
Teaching Language: English Place: Building J
Bellaterra Campus, 08193 Bellaterra

Teaching Period: 17 July to 4 August


Teacher: Pilar Dellunde

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Contents overview

Do you want to improve your critical thinking skills? In everyday life we are constantly giving reasons to believe things and take decisions. In this introductory course you will learn how to identify arguments, how to evaluate them, and how to avoid fallacies, thinking mistakes that lead to the formation of bad beliefs.
Critical argumentation is a practical skill that needs to be learned, from the very beginning, through the use of real examples of arguments. The real arguments we will analyze in the course will give practice in putting the desired skills to work. The methods presented are based on the latest state-of the-art techniques developed in argumentation theory and informal logic.

During the course we will organize an Argument Writing Workshop where the students could put into practice the different learned skills. There are no prerequisites to this course.


  • The nature of arguments. Different types of arguments. Arguments in dialogues.
  • Generalizations, analogies and causal arguments.
  • Deductive arguments,
  • What is a good argument? Validity and truth.
  • General rules for composing arguments.
  • Oral arguments.

Teaching / learning activities

  • Analysis of arguments. Identification of fallacies
  • Formalization of arguments
  • Argument Writing Workshop: argumentative essays and argument diagramming
The course will be evaluated on the basis of participation in class and on the qualifications of 3 assignments: 21/7/2017 Identification of fallacies in an argument, 28/7/2017 Analysis of the correctness of an argument and 1/8/2017 Writing a short argument.

Links and references
1. C. Swatridge, Oxford guide to effective argumentation and critical thinking, Oxford University Press (2014)
2. D. Walton, Fundamentals of critical argumentation, Cambridge University Press (2006)
3. F. H. van Eemeren, B. Garssen and E. C. W. Krabbe, Handbook of Argumentation Theory, Springer Verlag (2014)
4. A. Weston, A rulebook for arguments, 4th. Edition, Hackett Publishing Company (2009)
5. L. Groarke, Informal Logic, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL =