Phil 145: Critical Thinking


Instructor: Chris Eliasmith
Office hours: Thursday 10-11 and by appointment, HH331.
Time: Tues/Thursday 8:30a-10:00a
Place: MC2066

Humayra Kathrada (
Ian MacDonald (

TA Office hours:
Humayra: Monday 3-4p (or by appointment), HH337
Ian: Friday 1-2 (or by appointment), HH360 (away Fri Oct 12th - replacement hours Thurs 1-2p)

Course Description: In this course we will examine various kinds of complex problem solving and reasoning including: reasoning with statistics; reasoning with logic; informal argumentation; scientific explanation; and analogy. Students will beintroduced to conceptual tools to help them reason, and identify poor reasoning, in both formal and informal settings. Topics traditionally in either philosophy (logic, vagueness) and psychology (social determinants of reasoning) courses will be addressed.

Texts: Gilovich (1991). How we know what isn't so. Free Press
  McKay (1993). Reasons, Explanations and Decisions (RED) - CourseWare

Example: Evidence based public policy Alan Gregg, Progressive Conservative
Example: Homeopathy on CBC marketplace Jan, 2011.
Example: Problems with polls on CBC April 25, 2011
Example: Changing belief on April 18, 2011


NEW: Piazza site:

LOST & FOUND: A pencil case (on the front desk after class on tues Nov 19th)

Course material

Policies and information


Note: If you want help with the midterm questions, please supply your best guess as to the answer when asking about a question. The T.A.s won't give out answers.

Tests are given during class time.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.