Critical thinking and logic have been at the heart of philosophy since Aristotle.
As a professional philosopher, I have taught formal logic, philosophical logic and the theory of knowledge at the University of Oxford, and for the University of London's External Philosophy Program.
These logical skills are the foundation for my critical thinking tuition for the various Oxbridge admissions tests:
I'm also an A-level Critical Thinking tutor (OCR), an A-level Thinking Skills tutor (CIE).
My critical thinking tuition combines assignments (textual readings and exercises) with tutorials using Skype or the phone.
The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) is increasingly used by organisations,
including the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford,
as part of their selection procedures.
Appicants for the University of Oxford Philosophy and Psychology (PP) and Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) degrees, for example, are required to take the Oxford TSA.
The Cambridge and Oxford TSAs typically involve 2 tests: a multiple-choice test; and a 30-minute short essay. Half of the multiple-choice questions are critical thinking problems.
I offer critical thinking tuition for the TSA, for both Cambridge and Oxford admissions.
My critical thinking tuition comprises two, 55-minute tutorials which teach some fundamental logical principles with which to tackle the questions.
This is followed by a steady diet of practice papers to consolidate your understanding of the principles.
There are two components of the BMAT which involve complimentary critical thinking skills that focus on the concept of logical argument:
The 'Aptitude and Skills' paper includes several verbal reasoning questions that probe
BMAT candidates' critical thinking skills. In particular, they examine candidates' grasp of
the logical properties of a paragraph of text.
The 'Writing Task' paper essentially requires candidates to construct arguments for, counter-arguments against a given proposition, and then to rationally evaluate that exchange.
I've taught logic to Oxford undergraduates, taught A-lvel Critical Thinking, and have coached Oxbridge candidates in the BMAT, TSA and LNAT admissions test for many years. I'm therefore very well-placed to help you with your BMAT critical thinking skills.
This section is currently being re-drafted for the 2016 admissions test.
Evaluating arguments is the corner-stone of A-level critical thinking, and yet it
proves to be one of the most difficult subjects for students to master.
Crucially, evaluating arguments is the bread-and-butter activity of analytical philosophy, in which arguments are evaluated against a range of criteria: sound/unsound, valid/invalid, demonstrative/non-demonstrative, consistent/inconsistent, etc.
I have taught the evaluation of argument at the University of Oxford, and for the External Philosophy Program at the University of London.
The OCR A-level Critical Thinking syllabus also includes a range of concepts that are at the heart of the theory of knowledge: belief, justification, warrant, evidence, and of course the concept of knowledge itself. I have taught these subjects too at Oxford and London.
My A-level Thinking Skills tuition is based on the recommended textbook Thinking Skills by
John Butterworth and Geoff Thwaites, Cambridge University Press.
My online critical thinking and thinking skills tuition comprises a combination of Skype tutorials and assignments.
My feedback includes an approximate grade, a summary comment, and detailed colour-coded contextual comments.
Closer to the exams, we switch to timed, hand-written practice papers.
Philosophical logic, as the name implies, is the philosophical study of the central concepts
of logic: truth, meaning, validity, soundness, analyticity, etc.
It also encompasses the study of the varieties of argument: deductive, inductive, abductive, informal, etc.
My doctoral thesis, at the University of Oxford (graded 'high international standard'), was in the philosophy of meaning.
I have taught philosophical logic at the University of Oxford, and for the University of London External Philosophy Program.