Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

How to be more rational: an introduction to logic and systematic reasoning ADED11794E

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Repeated in Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

What does it mean to be more rational? What tools and techniques can be employed to become more rational? This course will address these and related questions by teaching students how to think logically and to reason clearly and methodically about any subject matter. Students will be introduced to foundational concepts and techniques in logic and reasoning, including: the structure of arguments, deduction, induction, rational persuasiveness, logical fallacies, and cognitive biases.


Available in both Block 1 and Block 2

2 hours per week for 10 weeks

Block 1: Tuesday, 19.00-21.00

Block 2: Monday, 18.00-20.00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





The assessment is by:

1. an argument reconstruction exercise (not an essay) (75%)

Students will reconstruct into standard form and then evaluate the arguments to be found in a selected passage, identifying any rhetorical ploys and fallacies. In addition, students will be asked to answer a small number of short explanatory questions about basic logical concepts.

2. An online multiple-choice quiz on basic concepts employed in the course (25%) 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce some of the basic methods and techniques required to think logically.

■ Provide techniques for reasoning clearly and methodically about any subject matter.

■ Examine foundational concepts and techniques in logic and reasoning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Apply central logical concepts, such as induction, deduction, and rational persuasiveness.

■ Employ basic techniques of argument reconstruction and evaluation.

■ Explain core logical concepts.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.