PHIL 120 A: Introduction To Logic

Meeting Time: 
MWF 1:30pm - 2:20pm
Location: 
GWN 301
SLN: 
18244
Instructor:
Ian Schnee

Syllabus Description:

See full syllabus here.

Overview

What makes an argument good?  How do you show that someone has reasoned invalidly?  In this course we will study arguments and reasoning both informally as well as with the tools and techniques of formal deductive logic.  We will learn the syntax and semantics of propositional and first-order logic (polyadic with identity and functions), and we will use them to explicate the intuitive notion of a valid argument.  We then apply our formal logical techniques to a variety of domains, such as the domain of sets (abstract collections of objects).  Topics include syntax, semantics, pragmatics, consistency, proof, logical consequence, logical equivalence, logical truth, analyticity, logical form, sets, set theory, infinity, paradoxes, truth functionality, logic gates, truth tables, quantification, relations, functions, interpretations, models, soundness, and completeness.  We will also discuss connections between formal logic and computability theory, philosophy of language, cognitive science, foundations of mathematics, and metalogic (theorems about logical systems themselves). 

Grading and Course Requirements

There are four components of your grade:

  1. In-class response questions and quizzes (via clickers): 20%
  2. Homework: 30%
  3. Midterm exam: 20%
  4. Final exam: 30%

Here is an explanation of each of these parts:

  1.  Participation in lecture and sections is required.  We will use clickers in lecture and section every day, so make sure to bring them!  You will also need a notebook of scratch paper every day in class, since you will work through problems in order to answer clicker questions.  Here is how the clicker portion of your grade will work: every day of lecture is worth 20 points; you start out with all 20 points (if you are there and answering every question); for each wrong answer you get minus 1 point.  There will never be more than 20 graded questions.  Some questions may be ungraded or have more than one correct answer (such as opinion polls).  Clicker questions must be answered strictly individually; sharing answers is considered academic dishonesty.  One student may never use multiple clickers; all such clickers will receive 0 points for the week.  If you forget to bring your clicker on some day then see the instructor before class begins (you may take a paper quiz in lieu of a forgotten clicker up to three times during the quarter).  At the end of the quarter, your three lowest clicker grades will be dropped.  So if you are sick or cannot make it to class on some day, you won’t be penalized.  Do not, however, squander away your three dropped grades early in the quarter; we will not grant additional dropped grades without documented medical or other emergency in every case.  Extremely exceptional circumstances may be discussed with the instructor. 
  2. Homework assignments will have two parts, one part is called “written” and the other part is called “electronic.”  In fact, though, both parts will be submitted online via Canvas or with the program Submit (which is part of the software package that comes with the textbook).  For directions on how to submit homework and manage your workflow for the course please see both the video posted on Canvas called “Submitting Homework” as well as the directions on the first problem set. Problem sets will start to be due the first week!  Problem sets will be due each Friday by 11 p.m.  (See Late Policy below regarding late homework.) 
  3. The midterm will occur in lecture one day in the middle of the quarter.  It is closed note/book/computer (unless allowed by Disability Resources for Services).  It will be multiple choice, true/false, proofs, etc.  Some of the questions will be previous clicker questions; others will be similar to homework questions.  So your previous work in the course will have prepared you for what to expect.  Directions and a study guide will be provided before the exam.  You must bring a Scantron card in order to take the test.
  4. The final exam will occur in our assigned slot during finals week.  It is closed note/book/computer (unless allowed by Disability Services).  Like the midterm, it will be multiple choice, true/false, proofs, etc.  Some of the questions will be previous clicker questions; others will be similar to homework questions.  So your previous work in the course will have prepared you for what to expect.  Directions and a study guide will also be provided during the last week of class.  You must bring a Scantron card in order to take the test.

 

Additional Details:

What makes an argument good?  How do you show that someone has reasoned invalidly?  In this course we study arguments and reasoning with the tools and techniques of formal deductive logic.  We will learn the syntax and semantics of propositional and first-order logic, and we will use them to explicate the intuitive notion of a valid argument.  We then apply our formal logical techniques to answer questions in a variety of areas.  Is there only one size of infinity, or can one infinity be bigger than another?  Can there be a set of all sets?  How does a computer work?  How could water running through hoses implement a computer?

TEXT: Language, Proof and Logic, David Barker-Plummer, Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy.

Catalog Description: 
Elementary symbolic logic. The development, application, and theoretical properties of an artificial symbolic language designed to provide a clear representation of the logical structure of deductive arguments. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Natural World (NW)
Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR)
Credits: 
5
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:16pm