Department of Public Policy Leadership

University of Mississippi

PPL 212 | Critical Thinking, Communication, and Public Policy

This foundational course of the PPL major is taught by Dr. Kyle Fritz (Ph.D. in Philosophy from Florida State University) whose expertise includes ethics; moral responsibility, blame, and punishment; moral authority and hypocrisy.

In our society, we all spend a significant amount of time thinking about issues and policies that are important to us. Few of us, however, spend time thinking about how to think about those things. The best arguments will fail if they are not communicated well. And in a society that seems increasingly polarized and uncivil, even the best arguments can go unappreciated.

In addition to improving skills in deductive and inductive reasoning, this course helps students improve their skills in reading, writing, and communicating civilly through written work, individual presentations, and debates. Many classes require students to write persuasive essays, but students are unclear how to structure an argument so that the reasons they provide actually support a conclusion in a logical way.

PPL 212 is the critical thinking and communications class, so we spent part of the semester learning about applying traditional logic strategies to our arguments and the second half of the semester practicing those skills. We began each class with informal public speaking and gradually moved up to in-class debates following the British Parliamentary style.” – Ella Endorf