Logical Reasoning and Critical Thinking

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Logical Reasoning and Critical Thinking

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    PH101, PH102

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Some arguments do genuinely prove their conclusion, and some do not. Logic is the study of the principles of valid argumentation, i.e., of what it is that makes an argument valid or invalid, sound or unsound. This module introduces students to logic and critical thinking, examining both classical and modern logic, covering such topics as: the nature and scope of logic; truth and validity; the classification of terms and propositions; translating everyday language into standard logical form; patterns of immediate inference; the syllogism; hypothetical and disjunctive arguments; the basic methods and procedures of modern symbolic logic; and some informal fallacies. Through looking at both classical and modern logic as well as informal fallacies focus will fall on the nature and different ways of engaging in critical thinking with regard to drawing correct inferences from premisses to conclusions.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
    -Analyse the main components of an argument (e.g. premisses and conclusion) and become aware of the importance of drawing valid inferences from premisses to conclusions.
    -Discriminate between valid and invalid, ?sound? and ?unsound? forms of logical reasoning as well as the general limits of logical discourse.
    -Identity and recognise the way informal fallacies lead one?s method of argumentation astray, through deploying either irrelevant or ambiguous premisses or conclusions argumentations.
    -Distinguish four main types of propositions (categorical, hypothetical, disjunctive, and conjunctive) and put into standard logical form sentences phrased in ordinary language.
    -Recognize the status of the truth (or otherwise) of statements in immediate logical inferences among categorical propositions (in the traditional square of opposition, conversion, obversion and contraposition).
    -Translate everyday arguments into standard, classical syllogistic form (where possible), and test the validity of such arguments, using the rules of the syllogism.
    -Translate everyday arguments into standard modern logical notation of the propositional calculus, and test the validity of such arguments, using the truth-table method.
    -Develop an overall appreciation of the importance of thinking critically and logically, cognisant of the main features of informal logical fallacies (of ambiguity and of relevance).

    Teaching & Learning methods:
    24 lecture hours (12 weeks x 2 lecture hours per week); 3 tutorial hours (x 15 tutorial groups); doing logical exercises; reading, reflection, discussion and writing.

    Continuous Assessment: 40%
    University scheduled written examination: 60%

    Continuous Assessment detail(s): 5% = Attendance at Tutorials 15% = Logical exercises in tutorials 20% = Essay-Assignment (c.1,500 words)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.