PHIL1101 Intro to Critical Thought


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PHIL1101 is an introduction into the various belief systems that constitute worldviews with an emphasis on issues of epistemology, logic, and critical thinking. 


Christopher Cone, Th.D, Ph.D, Ph.D 

John Oglesby, MA 

Stephen Lewis, Ph.D 

Shea Houdmann 

Martin Cochran 



Module 1 Presuppositions in Critical Thought  

Cone, p. 11–85, 141–169 

Does everyone have presuppositions? Are there correct and incorrect first principles? Dr. Christopher Cone addresses the topic of presuppositions and their relationship with critical thought.  


Module 2 Hermeneutic Centrality in Critical Thought 

Cone, p. 153-265 

John Oglesby presents the importance and priority of hermeneutics within the discipline of Critical Thought. Why is hermeneutics so important? What is its relationship with critical thinking? 


Module 3 Transformative Models for Critical Thought 

Stephen Lewis presents biblical case studies of critical thinking and logic. Is there a biblical model presented? What prescriptions and models are found within the Scriptures?  


Module 4 Epistemology and the Study of Knowledge: An Introduction 

How do you know anything? Can facts be ascertained? If so, at what level and how might that be achieved? The study of epistemology asks questions of knowledge and how we, as mankind, might understand the reality in which we find ourselves. Epistemology has been ground-zero for debate amongst philosophers for millennia. The learner, after this module, will understand the foundational aspects of the questions of knowledge.  


Module 5 Epistemology: Comparing Systems 

Descartes, p. 6–32 

Hume, p. xvii–9 

Nietzsche, p. 260–271 

John Oglesby presents and compares various systems of epistemology from the most influential thinkers such as Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, and God. Is there a correct model of thinking? If so, which might it be?  


Module 6 Introduction to Logic 

Poythress, p. 24–79 
Christopher Cone presents and introduction to the world of Logic and presents various subcategories within the discipline.   


Module 7 Logical Fallacies 

Poythress, p. 80-133 

Marty Cochran presents a wide variety of logical fallacies which the Learner should avoid whenever working through arguments.  


Module 8 Implications of Epistemology and Logic within Worldview 

Cone, p. 267-344 

Steve Lewis presents contemporary implications when working with logic and worldview. What are the implications behind epistemology and logic–thinking critically? What if you get it wrong, or, you get it right? Why does it matter and how does it affect you? Critical thinking certainly impacts those hard questions that philosophy tends to focus on, but it also impacts those day-to-day questions and conversations. After this module, the learner will understand the importance of critical thinking within various areas of life.  



Module 9 Technology and Critical Thought 

Shea Houdmann presents various areas of discussion within technology and critical thought such as the importance of thinking critically whenever approaching various forms of technology.  


Module 10 Science and Worldview 

Dr. Jeff Christianson addresses issues of Science, worldview, and critical thought. How does the discipling of thinking critically play out whenever undergirding science with the Biblical worldview? 



Required Texts:

  1. All CBU courses use the Bible as a primary textbook. Translations used for coursework include any of the following: NASB, ESV, KJV, and NKJV. Other translations/versions may be used for complementary study and research. 


  2. Cone, Christopher, Prolegomena on Biblical Hermeneutics and Method (Hurst, TX: Tyndale Seminary Press, 2012), ISBN: 978-1938484032, $21.00


  3. Descartes, Rene, Meditations on First Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1911), Electronic Version Provided, 6–32. 


  4. Hume, David, Treatise of Human Nature: An Attempt to Introduce Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects (London, Edinburgh: Clarendon Press, 1896), Electronic Version Provided, xvii–9.  
  5. Neitzsche, Friedrich, Will to Power (New York, NY: Random House, 1967), Electronic Version Provided, 260–271. 
  6. Poythress, Vern Sheridan, Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), ISBN: 978-1-4335-3229-0, $45.00 




Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

  1. Learners will understand foundational aspects of epistemology and logic. (CBULO 1, 2)  
  2. Learners will compare various understandings of epistemology. (CBULO 4) 
  3. Learners will identify logical forms and fallacies among various arguments.  (CBULO 1) 
  4. Learners will operate logically within their own worldview. (CBULO 1, 2) 
  5. Learners will employ critical thinking when viewing the world. (CBULO 1, 2, 5) 

      Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

      PLOs for A. Ed:  

      1. To prepare Learners for specialized undergrad study in transformative education theory and in leadership strategies.
      2. To provide Learners key worldview foundations for critical thinking and study.  
      3. To provide Learners with practical experience germane to their transformative learning and leadership.  

      PLOs for B. Ed: 

      1. To prepare Learners for roles in transformative education teaching and service.
      To provide Learners a foundation for effective individual and organizational leadership in diverse environments.  
      3. To ensure Learners demonstrate worldview foundation for empowering people and building communities.  
      4. To develop Learners who formulate the Biblical approach to transformative learning and leadership


      CBU Learning Outcomes (CBULOs)

      1. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Research – Learners will demonstrate ability to think critically, solve problems, and conduct interdisciplinary research at a level appropriate to their program.
      2. Personal Growth – Learners will understand how learning is related to personal growth, and will be challenged to grow in their thinking, communication, conduct, and engagement with others.
      3. Skills Development – Learners will advance in skills related to their area of learning, demonstrating a level of competency appropriate to their program.
      4. Social Responsibility – Learners will appreciate the diversity in and value of others as designed by our Creator, and will grow in willingness and capability to serve others.
      5. Worldview Applications – Learners will become capable at thinking from a worldview perspective and will understand the relationship of description and prescription, so that they can ground their actions in sound principles.


      Assignments and Grading (1000 Points)

        1. Module Assessments (25 points each x 10)                                          250 Points (Multiple Choice)   
                                     a. CLO 1 / PLO 3,4 / CBULO 1,2


        2. Course Content Assessment                                                                    250 Points (Multiple Choice)   
                                     a. CLO 2 / PLO 3,4 / CBULO 3,5


        3. Reading Content Assessment                                                                   250 Points (Multiple Choice)
          CLO 1 / PLO 3,4 / CBULO 1,2 


        4. Competency Assessment – [2-3 Competency assessment ideas. See below for an example. Delete the examples below before publishing your final syllabus. They are for example purposes only]
          Writing: Write a 3000 word paper on a topic related to worldview and critical thinking.
          Interview: Interview a religious or philosophical leader who would not agree with your worldview regarding one’s interpretive method.                                                Create a 30-minute video recapping the interview and assessing implications of the other’s views.
          Recorded Presentation: Give a 45-60 minute presentation on a topic related to worldview and critical thinking. 
          CLO 3 / PLO 1,2 / CBULO 4,5             250 Points 


        Grading Scale

        91-100%          A

        81-90%            B

        71-80%            C

        61-70%            D

        0-60%              F


        Carnegie Unit Credit Hour Equivalent

        Total Hours of Module Content: 20 hours  

        Total Hours of Reading Content: 40 hours 

        Total Hours of Minor Assessments: 30 hours 

        Total Hours of Major Assessment: 30 hours 

        Total Hours of Competency Assessment: 15 hours 

        Equivalent of 3 Credit Hour (135 hours of total course time) 

        Course Duration Policy

        Learners may complete the course in as few as four weeks and in as many as sixteen weeks from the date of enrollment. 

        Writing Style Policy

        All written assessments must follow the style guide appropriate for each course subject as listed below:

        • PHIL/HUMA/HIST/LANG/BIBL – Chicago Style (The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, Seventeenth Edition)
        • EDUC/SCIE/MATH/PSYC – APA Style (The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition)
        • ENGL – MLA Style (MLA Handbook, Ninth Edition)
        Standard of Intellectual Honesty

        By enrolling in a CBU degree program, Learners commit that they will not give or receive aid in any work that is to be used by the professor as the basis of grading, and that, and will do their part to ensure that other Learners uphold CBU's Standards of Intellectual Honesty.

        The CBU faculty manifests its confidence in the honor of its Learners by refraining from proctoring examinations and from taking unusual and unreasonable precautions to prevent intellectual dishonesty.

        While the CBU faculty alone has the right and obligation to determine academic requirements, Learners and faculty collaborate to establish the conditions for learning that is worthy of the worldview that CBU represents.

        Intellectual dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

        1. Copying from another’s work or allowing another to copy from one’s own work
        2. Representing as one’s own work the work of another
        3. Other forms of plagiarism.
        4. Unpermitted collaboration or provision of aid on an academic assignment
        5. Using the same paper or other coursework too satisfy the requirements of more than one course or degree

        The standard penalty for a first offense may include a failing grade for the course in which the violation occurred. Repeated offenses may include academic suspension or dismissal.