FYBPV0007 Critical thinking and scientific method

Institute of physics in Opava
winter 2023
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 2 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Mgr. Jan Černík, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Mgr. Martin Petrásek, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Martin Petrásek, Ph.D.
Institute of physics in Opava
Timetable of Seminar Groups
FYBPV0007/A: Fri 13. 10. 13:05–16:20 ATEL, Fri 10. 11. 13:05–16:20 ATEL, Fri 24. 11. 13:05–16:20 ATEL, Fri 15. 12. 13:05–16:20 ATEL, J. Černík
Prerequisites (in Czech)
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course consists of two thematic units: 1) the basics of the theory of argumentation and informal logic, 2) an overview of the philosophy of science in the 20th century. In the theory of argumentation, the theoretical distinction is theoretically distinguished from incorrect manipulation, the method of analysis and evaluation of the argument is explained and the main types of argumentative fouls are described. The content of the practical part is a series of home exercises, which are gradually improved the argumentation skills of participants. The philosophy of science covers topics related to scientific explanation, scientific methods, demarcation, scientific revolutions and scientific realism. The philosophy of special scientific disciplines, ie the philosophy of mathematics, physics, biology and social sciences, is also briefly outlined.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, the student will be able to:
- orientate oneself in sources of information and distinguish the relevance of sources;
- understand the principles of scientific work and understand the function of science and the scientific method;
- recognize argumentation fouls, understand the causes and types of cognitive bias and apply them to real situations;
  • 1. Rationality and communication. Cognition, truth, reasoning, facts, paradox of relativism, non-overlapping magisteriums. "Post-truth", "fact-checking", intelligibility, the principle of cooperation, the principle of helpfulness, epistemic vigilance, nonsense, obscurantism. 2. Analysis and evaluation of the argument. Formal and informal logic, definitions, paraphrases, argumentation, burden of proof, implicit meaning, conventional and conversational implications, silent premises, argumentation maps. 3. Argumentation fouls. Manipulation, fouls ad hominem, fouls ab auctoritate, fouls ad consequentiam, fouls ad passiones, fouls distorting the context. 4. Cognitive biases. Confirmatory blindness, hindsight bias, Dunning-Kruger effect, heuristics, confabulation, analytical thinking, theories of ignorance, intellectual virtues and vices. 5. Scientific method. Science and common sense, scientific observation, the problem of induction, hypotheses and theories, models, scientific revolutions, philosophy of special scientific disciplines. 6. Science, pseudoscience and para science. Verification, falsification, Occam's razor, skepticism, conspiracy theories, hoaxes.
    recommended literature
  • • GODFREY-SMITH, Peter. Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. U of Chicago P, 2003
  • • ROSENBERG, Alex. Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, 3rd Ed. New York: Routledge, 2012
  • • CHALMERS, Alan. What Is This Thing Called Science?, 4th Ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2013
  • • SINNOTT-ARMSTRONG, Walter a Robert J. FOGELIN. Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic, 9th Ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2015
  • • LADYMAN, James. Understanding Philosophy of Science. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • • BALASHOV, ‎Yuri a Alex ROSENBERG (eds.). Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. New York: Routledge, 2001
  • • PICHA, Marek. Kritické myšlení a rekonstrukce argumentu. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2014.
  • • LEWENS, Tim. The Meaning of Science: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. London: Pelican Books, 2015.
  • • ROYAL, Brandon. Principy kritického myšlení. Praha: Ikar, 2017
Teaching methods
lectures, seminars, discussions
Assessment methods
colloquium, final essay
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms winter 2020, winter 2021, winter 2022.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.slu.cz/course/fu/winter2023/FYBPV0007