Critical Thinking

PHI60001 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn


  • 1 Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 36 hours

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.





Aims and objectives

The aim of this unit is the development of critical reasoning skills which students will find very useful in academic, professional, and everyday contexts. It extends a foundational treatment of argument analysis and evaluation into students’ understanding of the roles and forms of argumentation in the sciences, the appraisal of their cogency and effectiveness, and the requirements for their effective communication.

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Systematically analyse short arguments in standard written and diagrammatic forms, so as to clearly show their intended logical structure;
2. Understand and demonstrate the ability to apply the core requirements for systematic argument evaluation;
3. Understand and apply the requirements for analysing important specialised types of arguments used in scientific reasoning, and the    for    evaluating the cogency of these arguments;
4. Appraise the real-world effectiveness of arguments advocating science-based proposals to the general public and to policy makers;
5. Demonstrate ability to identify fallacies and problematic uses of language—particularly in scientifically based arguments—and to appraise the    extent of these defects in weakening the related arguments;
6. Demonstrate argument analysis and evaluation in a detailed critical appraisal of an article-length, science-based argument.