PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR


PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR

PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR

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PHI 210 Week 1 Discussion STR

“Critical Thinking in the Workplace”

The video clip “Thinking on the Job” in the Webtext this week illustrates the importance of critical thinking in work contexts.

  • In your own words, describe what critical thinking involves.
  • Discuss a time in your work life when you needed to use critical thinking. How would you show a potential employer that you have solid critical thinking skills?
  • Find a resource online that helps people increase critical thinking skills, share it here, and give a brief description for your classmates.

PHI 210 Week 2 Discussion STR

“Looking at the Other Side of the Coin”

  1. Select one (1) of the topics from the Website. Summarize the topic and state your position on the issue.
  2. From the Website, identify three (3) premises (reasons) listed under either the Pro or Con section — whichever section opposes your position.
  3. For the three (3) premises (reasons) that oppose your position on the issue, answer these “believing” questions suggested by Elbow:
    • What’s interesting or helpful about this view?
    • What would I notice if I believed this view?
    • In what sense or under what conditions might this idea be true?”
  1. Determine the biases you experienced in your own thinking as you examined the reasons for and against your position. (Explain the meaning of the term ‘bias’ as well.) Describe your reaction to your experience of these biases.

PHI 210 Week 3 Discussion STR

“Understanding and Analyzing Arguments”

Read the Webtext material for week 3. Then, watch both videos provided in the Instructor’s Insights for Week 3. And finally, please respond to the following:

  • Explain the meaning of the term ‘argument’ in logic. How does it differ from the second meaning of the term that we commonly use? (Don’t forget to provide your references! Make sure to carefully watch the videos and to refer to them!)
  • Use the Internet to search for an example of an argument in the media, or present an argument you encountered in your daily life. Explain the example: what are the argument’s two parts? Is it a good argument? How can you assess it?

In your replies to classmates, discuss the classmate’s argument: is the argument well formulated? If not, what should be changed? How can the argument be assessed?

PHI 210 Week 4 Discussion STR

“Fallacies and Errors in Sound Reasoning”

Please respond to the following:

  • Explain the meaning of the term ‘fallacy’ in logic (review the material provided in Instructor Insights for Week 4; use reliable sources, and provide your references).
  • Use the Internet to locate at least two (2) advertisements that exhibit any of the following fallacies: equivocation, false authority, ad hominem, appeal to ignorance, or bandwagon. Post the videos in the discussion. Next, identify and discuss the fallacy used in the selected advertisements: where exactly is the mistake of reasoning being committed?
  • Remember that a fallacy is a faulty argument, so, in order to properly identify the fallacy you need to first identify the argument with its two crucial parts (what are those parts? review the material discussed in week 3 if you are not sure).
  • Discuss the primary reasons why you believe that the advertisers have used the fallacy in question, and examine whether or not their use of this type of fallacy is effective.

PHI 210 Week 5 Discussion STR

Go over the three arguments below. (Don’t read  your classmates’ posts until you are done with your own work.)

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Then, choose TWO (2) of them.
In each case, identify the argument’s two parts: what is the conclusion? (There may be more than one conclusion in the passage; this means that you could identify more than one argument per passage.) What is or are the premises? (Each premise and each conclusion should be formulated in your own words; each of them must be a simple and complete declarative sentence.)

After you identify the argument, answer the following questions:

Is this a good argument? What’s misleading about it? Where is the reasoning mistake?


The following appeared in a local newspaper:

In the last school where Principal McArthur worked, he was known as very tough. The teachers resented him. Nobody liked him. He’d often call the teachers into his office and scold them for lateness, lazy work habits, and sloppy record-keeping. When Dr. McArthur arrives at his new position at the Willows High School next August, he will again create a hostile work environment.


The following appeared in promotional literature for a billboard company:

Bye Bye Baby Store installed a large billboard on the side of the 95 highway exit. Sales of baby items in the store increased 13% in the next fiscal quarter. Dr. Mark Baldwin, a local dentist, would like to increase the profits of his dental practice. All that needs to be done is installing an advertising billboard next to a highway exist and his patient load will increase tremendously.


The following appeared in a local newspaper:

Two weeks ago, 12 female college soccer players went to the Governor’s office. They wanted to protest budget cuts for intercollegiate women’s sports. In the state, there are about 30,000 female college athletes. Because only 12 women went  to the protest, obviously most female athletes don’t care at all about the Governor’s funds for athletics. Therefore, there is no need for the governor to make any changes to his budget allocations.

PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR Week 6 Discussion STR

“Identifying Truth or Fiction”

The video clip, “The Baloney Detection Kit,” this week discusses the ways an effective critical thinker assesses claims made by others.

Carefully define the terms ‘science’ and ‘pseudoscience’. Thoroughly explain the difference between them and provide your references.

Also, give at least one example of what counts as science, and of what counts as pseudoscience. Explain how you can tell the difference. How do we know when a claim counts a pseudoscience? How can you tell that a claim is truly a scientific claim?

Are there any pseudo-scientific claims that you hold? If yes, why is it?

Determine at least two (2) ways in which the material discussed this week has changed your own thinking.

PHI 210 Week 7 Discussion STR

“Problem Solving Interview Question”

Imagine you are interviewing for a job you really want.

The interviewer asks you the following question: “Explain a specific example in which you used critical thinking/problem solving strategies to solve a problem in the real world.”

  • What is your answer to the question?
  • Choose one classmate’s own response to the interviewer’s question. If you are a job coach, what suggestions would you make to maximize your classmate’s answer to the interview question?

PHI 210 Week 8 Discussion STR

“The Relationship Between Language and Thinking (20 points)”

Please respond to the following:

What is political correctness? How is it defined? What’s its goal? How does it illustrate the power of language? Do research – look for reliable scholarly sources to find a good definition; explain the term also in your own words, and provide an example.

Critically discuss the question: Is political correctness a good idea?

There are obviously two possible answers to this question. Present those two answers, and try to provide the strongest argument you can think of in support of BOTH sides (you’ll need one argument for each side). Then tell us which side you think is stronger and why.

You may want to consider the following additional questions: Does political correctness violate freedom of speech? (Please don’t forget to define the term ‘freedom of speech’ – what is it, what is its goal, where did it originate? Provide your references.)

When you create your arguments, clearly indicate the conclusion and the premises of the arguments. Use concrete examples to illustrate your point. PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR.

PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR Week 9 Discussion STR

“Take a Look at Ethics Around You:”

Carefully read the material on Ethics and especially on Moral Theories in the Webtext. Then consider the following scenario:

A runaway train is speeding down a track. There are five people tied to the track in the train’s path. If the train isn’t stopped, the five people will for sure die.  You are there near the train, and you happen to see a switch: if you flip the switch, the train will go down a different track and you will save the five people. Unfortunately, if you do so – one person will still die as there is one person also tied to that alternate track.

What is the morally right thing to do (according to the moral theories discussed in class?). Construct an argument.

That is, when you answer the question,  support your view with the help from one of the moral theories of your choice.

After you write down your answer, watch the first video in the Instructor Insights for week 9.
How will you thinking change after you watch the video?

IMPORTANT! Comment on AT LEAST TWO of your classmates’ posts. Challenge your classmates, and challenge yourself! Talk about the ethical theory that your classmate chose: is it a good ethical theory to follow? Can you think of any problems with that theory?

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PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR Week 10 Discussion STR

The Value of Critical Thinking

Consider the following scenario and then answer our discussion questions:

You always walk to work, and your regular route takes you past a shallow pond. One morning you put on your very best clothes (you paid $200 for them just last week) and are in rush for a very important business meeting with your boss. When you pass by the pond, you notice that a toddler has fallen in and is about to drown. The child is crying for help! You are tall, strong, and a master swimmer. You could save the child without any problems, but if you do, you’ll ruin your expensive clothes (you’ll lose $200!), and you’ll be late to your important business meeting.

In this situation, do you have a moral obligation to rescue the child? (In other words, if you decided not to save the child, would this be a morally wrong decision?) DON’T tell us what you would do personally. Rather, focus on this precise question: what is morally right to do in this situation and why. Make sure to refer to at least one ethical theory discussed last week.

Of course, most of us drive to work, and don’t pass by a pond. But at this very moment, when you are reading your discussion questions, a child is about to die – a child in Africa, in Syria, or a child somewhere close by in the US… If you donate a certain amount of money (maybe $200, but maybe only $20) to the right charity (we assume that the charity is genuine!), you could save this child’s life. (If you don’t like the idea of a charity, think of the various GoFundMe cases where your money could save a person’s life.)

Do you have a moral obligation to save this child assuming that you can do it without any serious threat to your own wellbeing and also assuming that the money that you donate will indeed help save the child? (In other words, if in this situation you choose not to donate, would this be a morally wrong decision?)

Once again: DON’T say what you do or would do, focus on assessing the moral character of the situation: What is morally right and why?

Now, before you answer our discussion questions, pause for a while…. Think about all you have learned in our class. Remember that now you are a critical thinker… How will the answer given by a critical thinker differ from an answer given by a regular person? How will your answers be different from what you’d reply without studying critical thinking? In your post, make sure to concretely refer to concepts that you studied this quarter in our class.

The Drowning Child thought experiment was created by philosopher Peter Singer in his article “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” (1972).


PHI 210 Week 11 Discussion STR


Please respond to the following:

  • First – Give your opinion on whether being an effective critical thinker makes decision making easier or more challenging. Talk about concrete decisions you had to or will have to make. Justify your response
  • Second – Consider the following statement: “The major difference between a successful person and one that is not successful is that the successful person, over time, tends to make better decisions than the less successful person.” Discuss whether or not you believe this statement to be true. Explain the fundamental ways in which effectively applying critical thinking concepts has helped you to become more successful. PHI 210 Full Course Essay Project Discussions STR

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