PHL 214

Critical Thinking I

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Reviews 4
1

Class Ratings

2Bad Class
2Hard
5Very Interesting
5Very Useful

Professor Rating

1Awful Prof

Prof: David Laverty / Fall 2022

Nov 28, 2022

Comments on the course

The content of this course itself is very interesting and for this reason, despite my experience with Laverty, I would still highly recommend it. I believe the content of this course is very much worth knowing and that it will genuinely help you in life. The course content is very easy to understand for some people and very difficult to understand for others. My advice would be to really, really STUDY and revise the parts you don't understand in the readings since everything builds on everything else and this will be crucial in understanding the content later on since it gets very complex near the end of the course. The workload is very light. The majority of your time will be spent on the readings since they are very difficult to understand if you don't understand the content that came ...read more

Course Content

At its core, this course teaches you how to think critically. What this means is to analyze the information you are presented with and to pick it apart and evaluate it systematically for relevance, acceptability, and plausibility. It teaches you the structure of various types of arguments and all the ways to make good ones. One of my favorite parts of the course was analyzing logical fallacies. This part of the content discussed how some arguments may seem strong on the surface but are actually quite weak upon further scrutiny. I loved this part of the course as much as I did because I've actually SEEN this in action many times. I've seen these fallacies at play and having finally understood them, I feel confident in not falling for them anymore. Again, the course itself is very useful. ...read more

Comments on the professor

There are a whole host of issues with this professor so I'll list the pros first. He's very, very well-versed in the content. He'll be able to answer any questions you have because this is a guy that very, very much knows his stuff. He also seems to be willing to help. Don't feel afraid to ask him to help you understand something or ask a question in class, no matter how seemingly dumb it is. This is also a course where you have multiple assignments so there are opportunities to raise your mark. This is really helpful because it is very, very likely you will be needing it. Now on to the cons. He's terrible at explaining stuff. He usually just repeats everything he's written because he doesn't know how to simplify or break it down for someone that doesn't have a PhD in philosophy, or a...read more

Advice

Don't take it with Laverty. That's the first and most important thing I wish I had known. If you ARE going to take it with Laverty, you better have one hell of an affinity for this stuff. An ability to naturally pick this up fast and understand it. It won't just serve you well. With this guy, it's essential. The content requires complete understanding. So make sure to thoroughly read through the readings. If there is one thing you will need to learn, it's to quickly read through the information and disregard anything that isn't useful or anything that isn't actively teaching you something. Basically, memorize the essentials and glaze over everything else. Do the practice material. It will help a lot. Also, do the group exercises. Don't miss them. They are one of the only ways besides the...read more

Delivery: In personWorkload: ModerateTextbook Use: Yes
Assignment Heavy
1

Class Ratings

3OK Class
2Hard
2Boring
4Useful

Professor Rating

3OK Prof

Prof: Gary Toop / Fall 2021

Apr 21, 2022

Comments on the course

It wasn't a dreadful course, but it wasn't particularly interesting either. Lectures were organized so it was regular each week- you knew what would be discussed each class.

Course Content

The course focuses on logical thinking and reasoning. Specifically zones in on building and tearing apart strong/weak arguments, and understanding what techniques made them strong/weak.

Comments on the professor

A knowledgeable professor that actually teaches (yay!). Can come off as condescending sometimes, and if you try to answer a question and guess wrong, he may get upset. Gary is strict, marks hard, but not unfair with his grading.

Advice

Do the practice questions (in the textbook) either by yourself, or go to the lectures when he takes them up with the class. It helps a lot with understanding the material and applying it to the exams. Start the final assignment early! It is time-consuming and hefty.

Delivery: OnlineGrade: A-Workload: ModerateTextbook Use: Yes
Exam HeavyAssignment Heavy
1

Class Ratings

4Good Class
3Avg. Difficulty
5Very Interesting
4Useful

Prof: Elizabeth Jackson / Winter 2021

Aug 26, 2021

Comments on the course

A lot of readings, weekly quizzes, 3 tests and a final. If you want to improve your arguments, l suggest taking this class.

Comments on the professor

She explained everything well, but left some things out so you'd do the readings. Her quizzes were bit tricky.

Advice

Don't rush to complete a test/ or a quiz, take notes on anything you deem important.

Grade: A+Workload: HeavyTextbook Use: No
1

Class Ratings

4Good Class
4Easy
5Very Interesting
4Useful

Prof: David Laverty / Winter 2020

Aug 21, 2021

Comments on the course

If you find informal logic interesting, you'll love this class.

Advice

Do lots of practise problems and pay attention.

Suggest a professor

David laverty seems to have a bad rep, but I'm genuinely not sure why. Whenever I attended office hours, he was really accommodating and helpful.

Grade: A+Workload: 2hrs/weekTextbook Use: Optional

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