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This course invites students to develop clearer and more precise ways of thinking and communicating. Students are challenged to avoid vague, obscure, indefinite, and imprecise reasoning and rationalizing. This course provides students with strategies to help them distinguish good arguments from poor ones, analyze the validity of various claims, identify common fallacies, understand argumentative structures and rhetorical strategies, and appreciate the use and abuse of language in explanations. Students will practice these strategies when confronting current issues, belief systems, ethical positions, moral inclinations, and influences on information. Finally, by adopting an interdisciplinary framework, this course ensures that students are better positioned to develop their functional abilities to reason well and improve their analytical skills and instincts, which includes logical decision-making, gathering appropriate evidence in order to develop and support clear positions and beliefs, and communicating complex ideas in well-informed ways.
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