5210548: FU_Introduction to Critical Reasoning, Logical Thinking and Active Learning - A Guide to Form Competent Judgment and Engaging Ideas

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Semester:WS 21/22
Lektionen / Semester:28.0 L / 21.0 h
Selbststudium:69.0 h



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Masterstudium Entrepreneurship und Management (01.09.2020)
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Being able to think critically and reason well is a crucial skill in private and professional lives.
Universities, public policy makers, scientific theorists, business decision makers, or medical staff claim their findings are based on critical reasoning.
Therefore, students need to be able to critically assess arguments they encounter on the internet and across other media, as well as arguments put forward by people around them. Thus, it is expected of students to also present their own views to be rational and able to stand up to critical scrutiny.

This lecture provides a practical introduction to principles of good reasoning:
o Examples of both reasoning about facts and the reasoning required in making practical decisions are being defined, discussed and exercised.
o Risky inferences with probable conclusions from risk-free inferences with certain conclusions are being distinguished.
o Ways and means of spotting and avoiding common mistakes in reasoning and various misuses of language are being exemplified.
o No previous knowledge of critical reasoning and logic is needed.
o This course will be enjoyed by those who relish the challenge of thinking rationally and learning new skills.
o The skills and concepts taught will also be useful when studying other areas of interest to students.


Students will know about and be able to discuss and answer the following topics and questions:
o What is reasoning?
o What is critical thinking?
o What is a logical argument?
o How do I recognize an argument and what is the nature of an argument?
o What different types of arguments are there (certainty vs. probability)?
o How do I identify and analyze arguments and how do I set arguments out to make them easier to evaluate?
o How do I evaluate arguments?
o How do I tell whether an argument is good or bad (inductive, deductive, time-deductive reasoning)?
o How do I distinguish arguments from conditionals, explanations and rhetoric?
o When do arguments rely on hidden premises?
o What are you entitled to use as a premise in your reasoning?
o When is it appropriate to believe what others tell you?



o Content of this course will presented in an interactive way, using best practice examples, exercises and games.
o Students are encouraged to ask questions and participate in class discussions and group work.
o To consolidate their understanding of the subject, students will be assigned further exercises.
o Inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate


Bean, J. C. (2011). Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom, 2nd Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Bowell, T. & Kemp, G.(2014). Critical Thinking. A Concise Guide. Taylor and Francis: Routledge.
Hacking, I. (2002). An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic. University Press: Cambridge.
Holowchak, M. (2011). Critical Reasoning and Philosophy: A Concise Guide to Reading, Evaluating, and Writing Philosophical Works. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers: Rider.
Kurfiss, G. J. (1988). Critical Thinking: Theory, Research, Practice, and Possibilities: ASHE-ERIC/Higher Education Research Report, Volume 17, Number 2, 1988 (2nd Printing).
Priest, G. (2000). Logic: A Very Short Introduction. University Press: Oxford.
Talbit, M. (2014). Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic for Complete Beginners. University Press: Oxford.


Will be provided via Moodle


Attendance: 80%
Assessment is based on:
o homework assignments completed during the course
o one longer assignment at the end of the course, consisting of a set of exercises.
o Small group tasks tied to reading
o Activities connected to questions, problems, and reading material
o In-class writing that's exploratory and/or writing-to-learn
o Formal writing assignments supported by explicit instruction, drafts, and revision



Performance Record A: Classroom Activity
Performance Record B: Portfolio

Attendance: min. 80%


  • P-FU_Introduction to Critical Reasoning, Logical Thinking and Active Learning - A Guide to Form Competent Judgment and Engaging Ideas (WS 21/22, in Planung)