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Unit information: Logic and Critical Thinking in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Logic and Critical Thinking
Unit code PHIL10032
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Catrin Campbell-Moore
Open unit status Not open
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School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Unit Information

This unit introduces the student to the analysis of arguments. It provides students with the tools to discern and analyze the structure of an argument, to distinguish good arguments from bad ones, to understand commonly encountered forms of reasoning, and to diagnose common ways in which arguments and reasoning may be flawed or misleading. Students will also be introduced to the tools of Formal Logic and taught how to use these to make arguments more precise and to evaluate their correctness in precise and rigorous ways. Topics covered will typically include the analysis of the sort of informal arguments occurring in everyday life (including statistical reasoning), as well as the exploration of common fallacies in reasoning, the effects of various biases (including implicit bias), and the way certain forms of propaganda work.

Your learning on this unit

On successful completion of the unit the students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the key ideas in elementary logic, including deduction, validity, soundness, proof;
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with the propositional calculus and predicate calculus;
  3. Analyse both the overall structure and the precise logical form of arguments and be able to translate arguments from English into the propositional calculus and predicate calculus;
  4. Construct clear arguments and proofs, both formally and informally;
  5. Demonstrate an appreciation of the role and importance of evidence;
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of certain important forms of formal and informal reasoning (e.g. statistical inference);
  7. Identify common fallacies and biases in reasoning;
  8. Be reflective about their own reasoning; be less susceptible to committing fallacies and be less liable to bias.

How you will learn

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

How you will be assessed

  • Summative assessment: 3 hour Exam (100%) [ILOs 1-8]
  • Formative assessment: Regular short on-line problem sets (0% to be completed for the award of credit) [ILOs 1-8]


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. PHIL10032).

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.