Frauds, Hoaxes and Pseudoscience: A Course in Argumentation 
	Martha D. Patton, University of Missouri-Columbia

Lower-division science students may have a naïve view of science and a limited 
understanding of the role of argumentation in science.  To make scientific 
arguments more visible, Patton designed a course, Frauds, Hoaxes and Pseudoscience, 
that required students to read “bad” scientific arguments, to critique those “bad” 
arguments, and to write their own “good” arguments.  To assist students in their 
analysis of argumentation, Patton provided several models of argumentation and 
practical reasoning, including those of Stephen Toulmin and Chaim Perelman, which 
consider not only the reasons and evidence supporting a claim but also the warrants, 
backing, qualifiers, and reservations.  Patton identifies antecedents for the course 
in classical and modern rhetoric, describes the course and its relevance to the 
modern college curriculum, and concludes that, while it is only one way of 
approaching argumentation, it might provide ideas for faculty in the humanities 
and social sciences as well as in the sciences.

Academic Exchange Quarterly Summer 2003 Volume 7, Issue 4
AEQ print edition enjoys wide recognition in the world of academia...