Zeno G. Swijtink


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Spring Semester 2006

Philosophy 101: Critical Thinking

Course Goals

Your goal in this class is to improve your critical thinking skills, as these are involved in making thoughtful decisions, both personal and in collaboration with others, and in communicating these decisions, and the information they are based on, to other people so that they can understand why you -- or your group -- came to that decision.

Making thoughtful decisions requires becoming a pro-active learner, someone who is able to identify central questions, to generate a range of possible answers, and to collect information to evaluate these answers. Making thoughtful decisions also requires that you come to know your own strengths and weaknesses, so you can take advantage of your strengths and keep your weak points under guard.

Your ultimate goal is a philosophical one: to live a reasoned life, to do things you can feel proud of since they agree with you basic values, to develop a character you can stand for since it is conducive to living a good, that is, moral, life.

The underlying skills include problem/question identification, emotional awareness and value identification (both of yourself and of others), language analysis and clarification, asking good questions and being able actively to listen, independent study skills -- individually and in a group -- such as gathering and assessing information, generating alternative possible answers and solutions, evaluating arguments, and communication of reasons and plans to others, and being able to understand and evaluate different points of view.


Philosophy 200: Philosophy and Global Climate Change

Course Goals

• To reorient yourself in the world by developing a deeper understanding of climate as a common resource of the whole biotic community, of the causes and effects of global climate change (GCC), and of the philosophical problems posed by GCC.

• To improve your ability to find and evaluate information, read written material in books and on electronic media critically, write clearly, discuss deeply, listen carefully, and speak engagingly in different settings.

Philosophy 200


Philosophy 101
Past Teaching


Last Updated 01/29/06 ZGS