I aim to present to my students the complex interplay between scientific evidence, reasoning, and social values. My goal is that my students will be able to develop in-depth thinking into complex social issues along various dimensions in order to be able to navigate a world of fake news and misinformation. My ultimate hope is that when my students go home and browse the internet, they will be able to spot lies such as the purported hazards of mask-wearing and to explain why to their families; when they become parents, they will be able to guard their children from stereotype threat and other forms of sexism and racism; and when they participate in our democracy, they will consider and value scientific evidence and social justice to make sensible and compassionate decisions.
To achieve these goals, I incorporate materials from a variety of philosophical, scientific, and social dimensions in many of my courses. The first component is logic, so students learn to identify fallacies and flaws in reasoning. The second component is scientific reasoning so that students can think critically about topics such as hypotheses, modeling, causality, etc., from a philosophical perspective. This will help them make sense of news and social media reports about what "a new study says" on topics such as dieting and public health. The third component centers on specific sciences and their socially situated issues, where I incorporate numerous examples on topics such as complex modeling, feminist issues, values in science, and science-based decision-making.
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I taught an introduction to logic class at Ohio University for a few years. This course covered the basics of deductive and inductive logic, scientific reasoning, and informal fallacies. Topics included: categorical logic; Venn diagrams; propositional logic; truth tables; natural deduction; probability calculus; inductive fallacies; scientific reasoning; and informal fallacies in reasoning.
An undergrad 200-level course that I've been teaching at Indiana University for the last few years.