PHIL1002 Introduction to Critical Thinking

6 points
(see Timetable)
(see Summer Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Summer teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics major sequence
  • Level 1 option in the Philosophy; Humanities in Health and Medicine major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit are Life and Health Sciences, Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 1 elective
The fundamental questions each human being faces are—What should I believe? What should I do? Asking those questions implies that some answers are better than others and the better answers are those supported by better reasons. Answering them requires the ability to distinguish good reasons for believing or doing things from bad ones. In this unit, students acquire the concepts and develop the skills involved in analysing, creating and evaluating arguments for and against beliefs and actions. They learn to apply these skills to real cases from philosophy and other disciplines. Because the ability to think and argue clearly and convincingly is central not just to philosophy but to university studies in general, a wide variety of material is studied, and many students find the unit's content of immense value later on, both within the University and later in employment and their subsequent areas of specialisation.
Students are able to (1) identify and evaluate arguments in philosophical texts; (2) independently construct arguments for philosophical positions; (3) understand and apply the methodologies of contemporary philosophy; (4) identify and evaluate assumptions underpinning philosophical viewpoints on topics such as ethics, free will, knowledge and religion; (5) demonstrate sound research skills and written and oral communication skills; (6) demonstrate an understanding of important historical and contemporary philosophical ideas in areas such as ethics, free will, knowledge and religion; (7) identify arguments in a variety of written texts; (8) evaluate arguments from a variety of sources; (9) recognise what can be said in favour of points of view other than their own; (10) recognise what is and what is not relevant to an issue; (11) see what does and what does not follow from a statement; (12) recognise when evidence is needed to support a statement, and marshal appropriate evidence; and (13) think coherently.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) test; (2) workshop participation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the examination component.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Nin Kirkham (Summer); Dr Miri Albahari (S1)
Unit rules
PHIL1105 Introduction to Critical Thinking
Contact hours
lectures and workshops: up to 3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Non-standard teaching period [TS-SUMM-F-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.