Course: Reasoning

V Reasoning • Offering for 2017 • Grade 10 or above • Philosophy Sequence
* Primary Instructor
Karl Oles
* Sections
[Enrolled students will be notified if teacher schedules change between course posting at the time enrollment opens and the scheduled start of classes. Please see Tuition and Fees for refund policy.]
Section 1 Instructor: Karl Oles
Classes meet from September 15, 2017 to June 1, 2018
Friday 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM ET
Enrollment Policy: Full Year Only
Tuition: $400.00

* Website
Please review more extensive materials at the teacher's Reasoning website.
* Description
This course introduces the discipline of philosophy through examination of logical reasoning. Like many common activities, reasoning raises philosophical questions. The course begins by reviewing the difference between valid and invalid deductive arguments. The bulk of the course looks at examples of reasoning in the fields of practical reasoning and ethics, progressing to law, politics, and theology. Usually we analyze the reasoning in a recent United States Supreme Court opinion. Some common themes emerge. In every field, reasoning cannot begin unless certain fundamental premises are accepted. How do philosophers approach the question of how to choose among competing interests and desires? Why is murder wrong? Can we prove any of the truths of Christianity from reason alone? Towards the middle and end of the course, students will prepare papers analyzing instances of sophisticated reasoning chosen by the instructor.
* Meetings
This course meets once a week for discussion and review of assigned homework.
* Homework
Most weeks will involve discussion of materials presented online. There will be short essay assignments every other week and two projects analyzing complex arguments.
* Prerequisites
The course is intended for high school students who have some familiarity with formal logic and who have encountered arguments about topics such as global warming, health care, pacifism, the good life, and the nature of God. The focus of the course is on finding common elements in reasoning in various fields, learning skills necessary to analyze arguments, and discerning philosophical questions that arise from the subject matter.
* Recommended background
Prior encounter with formal logic (or playing the game Wff 'n Proof) is helpful, as is prior experience with debates over public policy issues, ethics and religion.
* Instructor's Notes
The course materials will be provided by the instructor.
V Textbooks and Materials
* There are no textbook or materials currently required for this course.
Check instructor's notes above for additional information, or contact the instructor.

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