Summer 2024 - PHIL 105 D100

Critical Thinking (3)

Class Number: 3554

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Tue, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 6, 2024
    Tue, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



An introduction to the tools of reasoning used in everyday life and in science. The overall aim of the course is to understand what makes good reasoning good, what makes bad reasoning bad, and how to do more of the former and less of the latter. Topics include: construction, analysis, and evaluation of arguments; logic and probability; updating beliefs and making decisions; designing experiments; interpreting statistics; identifying fallacies and biases. Open to all students. Students with credit for PHIL XX1 may not take this course for further credit. Q/Breadth-Social Sci/Sciences.


This is a course about how to think, and how to understand and evaluate what other people think. It won’t tell you what to think. You won’t prepare for exams by memorizing a lot of facts. Instead, you’ll develop general thinking skills for deciding what to believe and what to do. These are skills for you to use in any situation where having true beliefs matters, either because you simply want to know what’s true or because actions guided by true beliefs are the way best way to achieve your goals. These are also skills for clear and effective communication.

The major topics we’ll learn about in this course are:

Arguments: An argument presents reasons to hold a belief. Arguments are useful but can be misleading. We’ll learn how to construct and criticize them.

Logic and Probability: Logic and probability include some of the most basic rules of good reasoning. The rules are commonsense at heart, but learning to apply them takes some practice.

Explanation and Confirmation: Explanation and confirmation are fundamental to the careful use of evidence. We’ll learn some ways to recognize good and bad evidence, and some ways that we accidentally fool ourselves.

Data and Experiments: We often rely on limited data to learn about the world beyond our personal experience and to understand how to control it. We’ll learn some basic statistical and experimental procedures to help with this.


PHIL 105 may be applied towards the Quantitative Requirement, and the Breadth-Social Sciences Requirement OR the Breadth-Science Requirement (but not both; student can choose which Breadth requirement to satisfy and plan enrollment in other courses accordingly).

: PHIL 105 has replaced PHIL XX1. If you have taken PHIL XX1 in the past and you enroll in PHIL 105, it will be considered a repeat.

Videos: Why Study Philosophy? and Meet our professors!


  • Exam 1 30%
  • Exam 2 35%
  • Assignment 1 12%
  • Assignment 2 13%
  • Lecture (iClicker) 7%
  • Tutorial participation 3%



We’ll use i-Clickers (henceforth “clickers”) in lectures. Clickers allow everyone in our large room to respond to multiple choice questions during class, and allow me to show response statistics to the class. Every clicker question is scored for participation, and some are scored for correctness.


Free PDF.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.