AP/MODR1760 6.0 A: Reasoning About Morality and Values
Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite
This is a skills-based course focusing on critical thinking, critical writing, and logical and linguistic analysis. The course uses examples drawn from areas in the humanities where value judgements are made. Different sections will stress different topics in ethics, aesthetics, religion or law. Course credit exclusions: AP/MODR 1730 6.00, AP/MODR 1770 6.00.
Cael Cohen, PhD
Office hours: Monday, 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Room 447, South Ross Building
This skills-based course teaches students how to read, write and think critically through: (1) a collection of critical skills, practices, techniques, attitudes and principles that can be used every day to systematically evaluate your own and others’ reasoning about morality and values; (2) an approach to ethical disagreements and controversial moral issues using rational standards and mindfulness awareness; (3) critical assessment and formulation of ethical beliefs, arguments, and concepts based on relevant, acceptable and sufficient grounds, rather than passive acceptance.
Required reading for this course includes the one book listed below and several supplementary readings posted to the Moodle course site. This book is available for purchase from the York University Bookstore. Every week, students should check the weekly lecture schedule for the required readings. (See pages 5 – 19 of this course outline.)
- Critical Thinking: Argument and Argumentation. 2014. 2nd Edition. Authors: Jean Saindon and Peter John Krek. ISBN: 978-0-17-666100-7. Publisher: Nelson Education.
- Take-Home Mid-Term Exam 30%.
- Passage Analysis Assignment with Essay 35%.
- Homework in Modules 1 and 3, as follows: 10% in Module 1; 10% in Module 3; for a total of 20%.
- Participation 15%. Consists of weekly Lecture Participation Assignments (LPAs).
Mid-Term Exam—30%: Session 14: Wednesday, October 23, 4:00 pm – 6:50 pm. Written in class, in usual classroom, South Ross Building, room 174.
MUST show up in person to write this exam, in class. Practice exams and grading criteria will be provided. Must be students’ own original, independent work. Collaboration is not permitted.
Passage Analysis Assignment with Essay—35%: Due Monday, December 2, 4:00 pm, Session 24.
Select a passage from a set of provided passages. Analyze the passage following the techniques and steps taught in class. Includes 1000-1250 word written essay. Must follow the techniques, skills and model taught in lectures. Grading criteria provided. Must be students’ own original, independent work. Collaboration is not permitted. To be submitted to Moodle course site. Turnitin.com, a commercial, Internet-based plagiarism detection service, will be used from within the Moodle site.
Homework—20%. All homework will be submitted online to the Moodle course site. Homework assigned in a Monday session will be due before the following Wednesday session, 4:00 pm. Homework assigned in a Wednesday session will be due before the following Monday, 4:00 pm.
Module 1 = 10%:
Five homework assignments. Amount of marks of each homework assignment in Module 1 varies. Marks earned will be divided by the total number of possible marks for homework in Module 1 and converted into a homework mark out of 10%.
Module 3 = 10%:
Two homework assignments. Amount of marks of each homework assignment in Module 3 varies. Marks earned will be divided by the total number of possible marks for homework in Module 3 and converted into a homework mark out of 10%.
Late homework will NOT be accepted under ANY circumstances, including late enrollment and illness. Homework must be students’ own original, independent work. Collaboration is not permitted, unless specified by the course instructor.
Lecture Participation Assignments (LPAs) are assigned almost every lecture and are to be completed and submitted in class, during class. Professor will provide paper worksheets. Lecture Participation Assignments will NOT be accepted late and cannot be made up, under any circumstances, including late enrollment or illness.
- This is a 3-Module course:
Module 1: Arguments and Argumentation – Apprentice Critical Thinker ▪ Teaches the fundamental skills and analytical techniques involved in argument analysis, including: clarifying meaning; identifying, portraying and assessing non-deductive arguments; and identifying and neutralizing different kinds of fallacies. Examines and explores the dynamic process of verbal argumentation with others, including: constructing and presenting arguments, and challenging and responding to those challenges in an ongoing dialogue. Some core patterns that help define the key features of an ideal argumentation encounter are examined.
Module 2: Concepts – Adept Critical Thinker ▪ Learn to identify, analyze and assess concepts in ordinary contexts. Use the techniques of reasoning by cases, similarities and differences, and conjectures and refutations to analyze cases and develop criteria for the meaning of concepts. Determine the meaning of abstract ideas using reasoning by cases.
Module 3: Passage Analysis – Expert Critical Thinker ▪ Analyze and assess extended arguments and ideas within a written passage by applying the skills learned in Modules 1 and 2. Learn how to write sound and effective arguments and essays.
- Academic Honesty
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Religious Observance
- Grading Scheme and Feedback
- 20% Rule
No examinations or tests collectively worth more than 20% of the final grade in a course will be given during the final 14 calendar days of classes in a term. The exceptions to the rule are classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or on Saturday and/or Sunday at any time, and courses offered in the compressed summer terms.
- Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities