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Unit information: Critical Reasoning in 2021/22

Unit name Critical Reasoning
Unit code PHIL10030
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Burch-Brown
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces the student to the analysis of arguments found in a variety of everyday contexts, understanding the structure of arguments, and the diagnosis of flaws in reasoning. It aims to give the student an understanding of the variety of forms of argumentation and reasoning including statistical reasoning) and the tools to analyse arguments found in everyday life. It aims also, thereby, to make the student more conscious of their own reasoning practices and so less liable to errors in reasoning and more competent in constructing sound arguments of their own.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The student completing this unit should be able to:

  1. Analyse the structure of arguments found in everyday contexts;
  2. Appreciate the role and importance of evidence;
  3. Understand certain important forms of formal reasoning (e.g. statistical inference)
  4. Identify common fallacies and biases in reasoning;
  5. Construct a clear argument;
  6. Be reflective about their own reasoning; be less susceptible to committing fallacies and be less liable to bias.

Teaching Information

Lectures, small group work, individual exercises, seminars and virtual learning environment.

Assessment Information

Summative assessment: take home open book end-of-unit exam - 100% [designed to terst ILOs 1-6]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHIL10030).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.