Duration: 3 or 6 hours
Although we don’t realize it, we think in arguments, formal structures with premises and conclusions that build one upon the other and help us make sense of the world. For instance, a simple inference like “It’s Monday, the board meeting starts at 9am” has a hidden premise that completes the argument in a valid form: “Today is Monday. On Mondays, the board meetings start at 9am. Therefore today the board meeting starts at 9am.” Identifying hidden premises help us spot the Achilles’ heel of questionable reasoning like in this case: “Mike is really successful. He has a 3.000 EUR salary.” Also, understanding the limits of formal validity helps us understand why “The board meeting today starts at 9am. On Mondays, the board meetings start at 9am. Therefore today is Monday.” is a bad argument.
Bad logic can make us miss the pitfalls of commercial proposals and new strategy design, so the first purpose of this module is to train the skill of complex argument analysis. The second goal, as important, is to train the complementary skill to better structure our own arguments and reasoning.
Methods. Practical analyses on given pieces of text and on participants’ examples, practical written and oral activities to help participants exercise the better structuring of their ideas.
Outcomes. This module puts together elements from formal and informal logic in order to train participants to see the logic (or lack of it) behind pieces of speech or text. It also continues with training participants to make their point of view more compelling by using certain kinds of arguments (analogy, causation, generalization) and to structure their own thinking, speech, and writing, in a logical, compelling manner.