There are only two ways of assessing an argument: (1) we can assess the argument’s structure, or (2) we can assess the argument’s content. In this course, we will be learning how to assess arguments based on their structure. In other words, we are going to look at the first way of assessing arguments as well as learn how to structure arguments to avoid this type of criticism. To do this, we will be using a formal system of deductive logic to construct arguments, and learn rules to construct arguments so as to avoid criticisms of structure. The goals for the course are as follows: first, students will learn how to construct formally valid arguments; second, students will learn how to spot errors or flaws with an argument’s structure; and lastly, students will work towards developing the skills necessary to construct good arguments.
TEXT: Language, Proof and Logic, David Barker-Plummer, Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy.