Critical Reasoning and Logic

Scientists have to give arguments all the time – in their publications as well as in conferences and lab meetings. Nevertheless, the bases for strong and correct arguments are not always fully clear to them. Logic provides extremely helpful tools for scientists to develop their arguments in a coherent, well-structured and convincing way. The seminar gives an introduction to the most important concepts of logic: premises and conclusions of arguments, validity and soundness of arguments, deductive vs. inductive reasoning, common types of inferences and fallacies. The idea of the workshop is to use these concepts as a toolbox which provides very useful techniques for everyday scientific work. The participants learn how to reconstruct arguments from scientific texts, how to give well-structured and logically valid arguments, and how to avoid misunderstandings. There are two main sets of exercises: one for written argumentation and one for oral argumentation.

Objectives

The participants…

  • state their arguments in a precise and logically coherent way
  • learn to quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of arguments
  • learn how to break-down arguments into their logical structure
  • train analytical thinking

Methods

The methods are interactive throughout. The course provides extensive exercises that aim at the application of the acquired skills to the participants’ individual fields of work. The participants get individual feedback on the results of their exercises by the group and by the trainer. The theoretical contents of the course are also conveyed through dialogue and exercises. There will be no pure presentations by the trainer.

Contents

  • basic concepts of logic (validity and soundness or arguments etc.)
  • inductive and deductive arguments
  • Common types of fallacies
  • reconstructing arguments from texts
  • tips and exercises for written argumentation
  • tips and exercises for oral argumentation

Materials

  • seminar script including a bibliography (pdf document)
  • exercise sheets

Group-size

Max 12 participants

Duration

2 days, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Download Critical Reasoning and Logic PDF Document

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