methods of logical criticism.

Course Description:

This course is designed to introduce you to the methods of logical criticism. The goal is to teach you some techniques for recognizing arguments and some basic procedures for evaluating them as good or bad reasoning. With these techniques and procedures in hand you may avoid being persuaded by bad arguments. Also you will be in a better position to think through and evaluate your own ideas and opinions.

This course is not difficult, if you keep up with the modules. Important ingredients in keeping up are regular participation on the discussion boards and completion of weekly assignments. In logic, cramming is not the best study technique so pace yourself accordingly.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the semester you will be able to:

*Distinguish arguments from non-arguments

*Identify arguments by deductive and inductive type

*Apply critical reasoning tools to analyze argument forms

*Evaluate arguments as good or bad reasoning


A Concise Introduction to Logic. Patrick Hurley. Wadsworth Publishing.

Availability:  This text can be purchased at the Morgan State Bookstore.  

Students may also use the 9th and 10th editions of this text.  

Copies of the text are on reserve in the Richardson Library.

Grading Considerations:


There will be four chapter exams during the course of the semester.  


There will be a total of ten quizzes.  Five of the quizzes will be counted towards your final grade, the additional five will count as extra credit.


The homework assignments are a critical component of this course because it is key for mastering the material presented in this class. 

Note:  Students will not receive credit for partially completed assignments.  This means that the entire assignment must be submitted in order to receive points. Points are not subtracted for incorrect answers. 


Students are expected to write one argumentative essay.  Details concerning this assignment will be given during the class. 

Chapter exams are worth a total of 200 points, quizzes are worth 100 points, homework assignments are worth a total of 150 points, and the essay is worth 50 points.

Late assignments are not accepted for this course. All assignments must be submitted on the date due by 11:59pm est.

Final Grade Key:

450 – 500 = A

400 – 449 = B

350 – 399 = C

300 – 349 = D

299 and below = F

NOTE:  This syllabus may be changed at the discretion of the professor.

Course Schedule:

Module A: Basic Concepts


*Identifying the components of an argument

*Distinguishing deductive argumentative passages from inductive argumentative passages

*Identifying specific non-arguments (passages lacking an inferential claim)

*Recognizing arguments in given passages

Module B: Informal Fallacies


*Defining fallacious arguments

*Defining common fallacies

*Detecting specific fallacies given in argumentative passages

Module C: Categorical propositions


*Identifying the component parts of each standard form categorical propositions

*Translating ordinary language statements into standard form categorical propositions

*Determining quantity, quality and distribution of the standard form categorical propositions

*Converting categorical propositions given rules of Aristotelian logic

*Obverting categorical propositions given rules of Aristotelian logic

Module D: Categorical syllogisms


*Identifying three terms in a categorical syllogism

*Determining validity of categorical syllogisms using five rules from the Aristotelian standpoint

*Translating syllogisms given in ordinary language statements into standard form categorical syllogisms