Welcome to the Critical Thinking course, a transformative journey that invites you to enhance your critical thinking skills and delve into the intricate dynamics of cognition, rhetoric, and argumentation. Throughout this intellectual odyssey, our goal is to provide you with practical tools and insights essential for navigating the complex landscape of critical thinking. In this introductory course, you will learn to identify arguments, evaluate them, and steer clear of fallacies and belief mistakes that can lead to the formation of misguided beliefs. The practical skill of critical argumentation is emphasized, employing real examples to ensure a hands-on learning experience from the very beginning. The methods presented are based on state-of-the-art techniques developed in argumentation theory, informal logic, and the latest discoveries in cognition and argumentation. The course culminates in an engaging Argument Debate Week, allowing you to put your newly acquired skills into practice. No prerequisites are needed, and during the initial week, electronic devices are prohibited to foster focused learning. All teaching materials will be accessible on Campus Virtual.
What sets our course apart is its commitment to real-world applicability. As you progress, you will not only analyze and evaluate arguments but also construct compelling ones, gaining proficiency crucial in academic, professional, and everyday life. The curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice, incorporating practical exercises, case studies, and dynamic discussions. In this age of technological advancement, we recognize the transformative potential of generative AI. As a unique aspect of our course, we delve into the realm of rhetorical writing, harnessing the power of AI tools to witness and actively participate in the evolution of persuasive communication in the digital era.
Prepare to explore the boundaries of traditional rhetoric and witness the synergies between human intellect and artificial ingenuity. The Critical Thinking course is not just a theoretical exploration; it is a dynamic experience crafted to empower you with the skills, knowledge, and innovative techniques needed to thrive in a world where effective communication and critical reasoning are paramount. Join us on this intellectual adventure, where the synthesis of theory and practice creates a fertile ground for the cultivation of astute critical thinkers.
FOUNDATIONS OF CRITICAL THINKING
Introduction to Critical Thinking
Barriers to Effective Critical Thinking
Cognitive Psychology and Critical Thinking
Lecture and discussion on the definition and importance of critical thinking.
Short exercise: Analysing a simple scenario for critical thinking elements.
Group activity: Identifying common barriers through case studies.
Class discussion on overcoming obstacles to critical thinking.
Workshop on the role of perception, memory, and attention.
Individual reflection: How cognitive biases affect decision-making.
CRAFTING LOGICAL ARGUMENTS AND AI INTEGRATION
Elements of Argumentation
Integrating Generative AI (e.g., ChatGPT) in Critical Thinking
Advanced Argumentation Techniques
In-class debate: Students construct and present arguments.
Peer review of argument structures.
Workshop on using generative AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT) for argument analysis.
Team exercise: Collaborative generation of arguments using AI.
Role-playing activity: Students practice counterargument and refutation.
Group exercise: Analysing and critiquing persuasive techniques.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION AND REFLECTION
Rhetoric and Persuasive Communication
Applying Critical Thinking in Real-World Contexts
Case Studies, Debates, and Reflection
Videos analysis on effective rhetoric.
Team project: Analysing a persuasive speech and presenting findings.
Applying critical thinking in professional scenarios.
Workshop: Ethical decision-making and critical thinking.
Team-based case study analysis with a short presentation.
Final debates: Teams present and defend arguments developed throughout the course.
Individual reflection and personal growth assessment.
From Monday to Friday.
From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The course will be evaluated on the basis of diary exercises and on the qualifications of 3 weekly Assignments (A):
A1) Exercises on deductive and inductive arguments
A2) Writing a short argument
A3) Group class debate activity.
The grading formula is: A1 (20%) + A2 (30%) +A3 (50%, as a result of several sums of related exercises, to be detailed in class)
- Douglas, M. (1996). Thought styles: critical essays on good taste. UK: Sage.
- Groarke, L. (2017) Informal Logic, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL= https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2017/entries/logic-informal/ .
- Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2006). How we reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Kahneman, D., & Egan, P. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow (Vol. 1). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
- Moore, B. N., Parker, R., & Rosenstand, N. (2011). Critical thinking. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Walton, D. (2005). Fundamentals of critical argumentation. Cambridge University Press.
- Swatridge, C. (2014). Oxford guide to effective argumentation and critical thinking, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Vallverdú, J. & Müller, V. (2018). Blended Cognition. Germany: Springer.
- van Eemeren, F. H. , Garssen B., & Krabbe, E.C.W. (2014). Handbook of Argumentation Theory, Berlin: Springer Verlag.
- Voss, Chris (2016) Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. USA: Harper Press.
Jordi Vallverdú B. Phil, B. Mus, M.Sci, Ph.D. is an ICREA Academia researcher and Professor at UAB about cognitive and epistemic aspects of the Philosophy of Computing, Philosophy of Sciences, Cognition, Ethics, and Philosophy of AI. He has enjoyed research stays at Glaxo-Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (1997), J.F.K. School - Harvard University (2000), and Nishidalab - Kyoto University (2011, JSPS Grant). In 2019 won the Best presentation award of the HUAWEI Neuro-inspired, cognitive, and unconventional computing workshop, Kazan (Russia). His current research is done under the support of ICREA, doing research on Deep Learning and Causality. He has written more than 150 academic documents (19 books, more than 47 chapters, and more than 106 peer-reviewed papers....) and has excellent indices and ratings in several academic evaluation sites. As professor has 3 massive courses at COURSERA, which sum more than 200.000 enrolled students from all around the world.
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Department of Philosophy