The objective of this course is twofold: to identify and hone the skills necessary to deconstruct and critique arguments while producing our own rational, persuasive lines of reasoning; to go beyond argumentation and evaluate the norms, values and beliefs underlying our assumptions and institutions, through epistemological and philosophical inquiry.
To this end, we will carry out a number of different tasks. The first will involve decoding and debunking fallacious arguments found in newspaper articles, blogs, online videos or memes; later on, we will also turn our critical gaze to research articles and more scholarly sources. The second type of task will, conversely, require students to construct their own persuasive content – short articles, videos or pitches to be presented to (and debunked by!) peers. Throughout the course, we will become acquainted with theories of knowledge, as well as theories of moral and political action in contemporary philosophy. A final project may take the form of a short play, short story, comic, analytical article or thought experiment, to be carried out individually or in small groups and mobilizing concepts and arguments within these philosophical fields.
This course is ideal for all those who enjoy critique, rhetoric and friendly discussion, who are keen to deepen their understanding of how opinions and beliefs are formed and tested and who are interested in learning more about modern and contemporary philosophical trends.