British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: UPDATE: Building SE6, Burnaby Campus, closed due to power outage


LIBS 7008 - Logic and Practical Reasoning

Liberal Studies Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

Course Details

This course emphasizes that people are responsible for the rationality of their opinions, in all areas of their lives. To that end, the course teaches methods for analysing and evaluating both ordinary and famous arguments, as found in everyday life, politics, religion, science, technology, and (even) philosophy.


BCIT ENGL 1177, or 6 credits BCIT Communication at 1100-level or above, or 3 credits of a university/college first-year social science or humanities course.





Spring/Summer 2019

Below is one offering of this course for the Spring/Summer 2019 term.

CRN 63620

Mon May 27 - Fri Aug 16 12 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
May 27 - Aug 16 Online



Course Outline

TBD – see Learning Outcomes in the interim




  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. *(A)* This is NOT a SELF-PACED course. There will be specific timelines for assignments and exams. Course content, kind and quality of assignments and general standards for this online course are the same as classroom courses. You will have discussions and assignments to complete each week (although you do NOT have to be online at a particular time or day). *(B)* FINAL EXAMS: All final exams MUST be written at BCIT during the last week of the course on the designated dates and times given at course start. If you live outside the Lower Mainland area you will be required to have an approved proctor administer the exam. You are directly responsible for any invigilation fees and related costs.
  3. Important course information will be sent to you prior to your course start date. Check your myBCIT email account to access this information.

This course offering is full. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize and understand the role of the linguistic elements of arguments.
    • Understand the conversational rules that govern conversational acts.
    • See how conversational implication affects the meaning of speech acts.
    • Recognize the standard form of an argument and understand the concepts of validity, truth and soundness.
    • See that good arguments must not beg the question.
    • Understand why successful arguments depend on finding common ground.
    • Understand the role of assuring, guarding, and discounting expressions, as well as "argumentative performatives".
    • Recognize the role of evaluative language and its use and misuse in argument (persuasive definitions, euphemisms and figurative language).
  • Understand the many uses of arguments.
    • Distinguish 'impersonal normative' from 'dialectical' justification .
    • Distinguish proper attempts at refutation (parallel reasoning, reductios) from illegitimate ones (straw man).
    • Recognize the role of argument in systematization and simplification of belief systems.
    • Understand the role of argument in giving explanations and in providing excuses.
  • Apply learned skills in a 'close analysis' of a moderately complicated argument.
  • Reconstruct arguments according to a standard pattern.
    • See how to remove logically irrelevant material from an argumentative passage.
    • Clarify terms and break down arguments into individual claims.
    • Arrange subarguments in logical order.
    • Recognize that 'real life' arguments usually depend on 'suppressed' premises, and that, when acceptable, these premises often involve shared facts, 'analytic truths' and moral principles.
    • Tease out hidden premises that embody controversial assumptions.
    • Apply the 'method of reconstruction' to some extended arguments.
    • Realize that all arguments terminate in fundamental principles, which may be part of competing frameworks.
  • See the value of formal propositional logic in explaining and demonstrating some kinds of validity.
    • Recognize occurrences of logical conjunction, disjunction and negation.
    • Recognize the argument pattern of disjunctive syllogism.
    • Understand the role of truth-functional connectives in propositional logic.
    • Testing for validity using truth tables.
    • Distinguish indicative conditionals from subjunctive conditionals; give the truth table for indicative conditionals; and recognize some valid and invalid argument patterns involving conditionals (modus ponens, modus tollens, and hypothetical syllogism).
    • Translating some everyday language sentences using truth-functional connectives.
  • See how formal logic can determine validity in categorical arguments.
    • Represent categorical claims with Venn diagrams.
    • Recognize basic categorical form (i.e., A, E, I and O) propositions and represent them in Venn diagrams.
    • Translate everyday language claims into basic categorical form.
    • Recognize which categorical claims are contradictories (and contraries) of others.
    • See that 'particular' categorical claims have 'existential commitment'.
    • Recognize which categorical claims are immediate inferences from others.
    • Recognize categorical syllogisms and use Venn diagrams to evaluate them for validity.
  • See how various inductive styles of reasoning can produce strong arguments.
    • Recognize the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning standards.
    • See how inference to the best explanation works.
    • Recognize, use and evaluate arguments from analogy and distinguish them from inference to the best explanation.
    • Appreciate and evaluate causal reasoning, in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions and 'Mill's methods'.
    • Use inductive generalization to argue from samples to larger populations.
    • Recognize some biased samples.
    • Use and evaluate statistical syllogisms.
  • Understand and evaluate some arguments involving probability (if time permits).
    • See how the representative and availability heuristics can cause logical 'blunders'.
    • Grasp the notion of a priori probability.
    • Understand and use some probability laws (addition, multiplication and conditional probability).
    • Recognize and apply Bayes's Theorem.
    • Understand expected monetary and overall value.
    • Understand some principles of decision under uncertainty.
    • Recognize and avoid the Gambler's Fallacy.
    • See how regression to the mean can affect the relevance of exceptional events.
    • Recognize that 'strange things happen' all the time.

Effective as of Fall 2004

Related Programs

LIBS 7008 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Business

  1. Accounting
    Full-time/Part-time   Bachelor of Accounting
  2. Bachelor of Business Administration
    Full-time/Part-time   Bachelor of Business Administration

Books & Supplies

The BCIT bookstore carries textbooks, general reference books, software, and stationery. Please visit for more information.

Spring/Summer 2019

Books for Spring/Summer 2019 offerings of this course are available in the following BCIT online bookstores. Please choose the bookstore appropriate for the offering you are considering.

BCIT Distance & Online Learning Bookstore

If you are taking this course through either Distance Education or Online Learning, please purchase books for this course at the BCIT Distance & Online Learning Bookstore.

Image not available
Practical Study Of Argument Enhanced 7Th
Author Govier
Publisher Wad
Copyright 2014
Binding Paperback
ISBN 978-1-13393-464-6
Price $170.95


Interested in being notified about future offerings of LIBS 7008 - Logic and Practical Reasoning? If so, fill out the information below and we'll notify you by email when courses for each new term are displayed here.

Contact Information

Suggest course days and times

If you are interested in taking this course on-campus (classroom delivery only) and would like to see it offered on specific days and/or at specific times, please indicate your preferences below. Day and time suggestions are not applicable to online courses.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

Programs and courses are subject to change without notice.

Find Courses

Payment Changes At BCIT

We've changed the way we accept payments.

Find out more

Course Navigation, Related Links & Tools

Registration News

Registration is currently open for the Spring/Summer 2019 term.

The sneak preview for the Fall 2019 term starts Fri, May 24 at 8:30 am (PDT).

Students may register for Fall 2019 term courses online, by phone, mail or in-person starting Wed, May 29 at 9:00 am (PDT).

Classroom Locations

Classroom locations are subject to last minute changes. Please check the Part-time Studies Classroom Locations listing at on the first day of any course you are registered for.

Part-time Studies Financial Aid

Will you be studying at BCIT part-time? Do you need assistance funding your studies? Find out if you qualify for Part-time Studies financial aid ›