Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form
  2. differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each
  3. appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardise form
  4. construct your own well-reasoned arguments
  5. apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.
  • Topics
    • Introduction - What is critical thinking and why do we need it?
    • What are arguments?
    • Standardisation and reconstruction of arguments
    • Deductive arguments
    • Inductive arguments
    • Critical Thinking and the Human Mind
    • "Automatic" thinking and critical reasoning
    • The power of language and image
    • Fallacies and pseudo-reasoning
    • Putting it all together
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • MAQ-PHI120


If you have no prior university experience, you should complete BAR100 Academic Learning Skills or COM10006 Academic Literacies: Learning and Communication Practice before starting this subject.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as PHI120 Critical Thinking.

Please note: This subject is available in Macquarie Semester 3. This is an intensive semester which spans only 9 weeks (including recess). Students are advised to enrol in only one or two subjects in Semester 3.

This subject aims to teach the fundamentals of critical thinking and reasoning. Students will learn how to construct, analyse and critically evaluate arguments, how to detect common fallacies in reasoning and how to think logically and creatively. We teach these skills by developing practical techniques for the evaluation of reasoning, and applying them to arguments from business, law, science, politics, philosophy and the media. Critical thinking skills are invaluable across all disciplines, and will benefit you in academic contexts and in life beyond university.

This subject is part of the Humanities Pathway.

OUA Pathways recommends the best subjects to start your studies, even if you're not sure which degree you want to do. Each pathway includes four subjects based on your area of interest. Once you complete your recommended path you'll be able to choose from a range of degrees in your area of interest. Plus, each of the subjects you complete through OUA Pathways can also be credited towards your chosen degree.

Learn more about OUA Pathways.

  • Assignment 1 - Assignment 1 (35%)
  • Assignment 2 - Participation (20%)
  • Assignment 3 - Quizzes (45%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Related degrees