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Critical Thinking for International Relations

Critical Thinking for International Relations

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Published by: Clifford Angell Bates on Sep 19, 2012
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UNIT COORDINATOR Clifford Bates, Dr; TA Jan Grzymski, MA LEARNING APPROACH 30 hours of lectures (using lecture and interactive-discussion), 30 hours of workshops ASSESSMENT 1. Three short essay/reaction paper assignments, 3 to 5 pages (600-1000 words, each worth 10%; result in learning outcomes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8); 2. quizzes( in-class, short 15 minutes, 30%; result in learning outcomes 1, 2, 4, 7); 3. final essay, 7-10 pages (worth 40%; results in learning outcomes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) AIMS This course aims at introducing undergraduate students to critical thinking as a fundamental tool by which students can learn how to effectively use judgment and discernment in their course of study. This course hopes to aid the student in their ability to discover what are in-fact the most important issues/questions/problems and aid them in identifying rational solutions to address those issues/questions/problems. Topics and areas examined include 1) analyzing and building arguments, 2) the various methods and standards of critical thinking (introducing students to classics of critical thought) and 3) evaluating sources of information used to underlie judgement. LEARNING OUTCOMES All objectives listed here will be demonstrated in writing unless otherwise stated. 1. Differentiate between inference and fact. 2. Identify types of fallacies in reasoning. 3. Trace the development of an argument from its proposition to its conclusion. 4. Compare and contrast attitudes or values as expressed by writers with differing perspectives. 5. Evaluate the reliability of source materials. 6. Apply the principles of critical thinking to writing, with and without the use of outside sources. 7. Analyze arguments for examples of fact and inference, inductive and deductive reasoning, and emotional appeal. 8. Construct an argument that defends a claim with appropriate supporting data and logical consistency.

X 3. COMPULSORY READING Anthony Weston. VI. The Prince. 5. 9. Learning how to read carefully as a means to learn how to make judgements critically. 3rd edition (Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing. Basics of Reasoning and Practical Logic 2. Learning how to distinguish between what is important to the thing you are doing and what is not. 1989) Thucydides.CONTENT 1. Learning to understand phenomena as they are and distinguish between those phenomena are important to what you are dealing with and which are not. 6. 7. 4. Understanding Judgement and how to use it 3. trans by Thomas West Niccolo Machiavelli. 2000). 4. selection from History of the Peloponnesian War Week 1. A Rulebook for Arguments. 10 War Topic Introduction Practical Logic Reading Weston cpt I Weston cpt Rules of Reasoning Argument Truth and Opinion + Ways of Life Defending one’s Life Types of Princes Arms and the Man Virtues of the Prince The Prudence of the Prince Chaos of Existence Weston VWeston VII-IX Plato’s Apology Plato’s The Prince The Prince The Prince The Prince The Art of . trans Leo Paul de Alvarez (Propects Heights. 8. Apology 6. Learning how to apply what one has learned to how one acts. Illinois: Waveland. 5. II-IV 2. Plato's The Apology of Socrates.

11 War 12. Ways of Victory The Meaning of Victory Final Exam The Art of The Art of . War 13.

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