this is phil 26403...

syllabus

  • Instructor: Max Weiss
  • Email: max@whythis.net
  • Office hours: Mondays, 4:00-5:00 or by appointment

Overview

Some logical practices you perform as a matter of course in your daily life: framing hypotheses, drawing conclusions, reframing a hypothesis in equivalent terms, specifying something by appeal to its relationships with others. In this introductory study of logic, we'll pursue the systematization of such practices. On the one hand, you can expect the exercise to refine your practical skills. On the other hand, the practices will become the subject-matter of theoretical inquiry, perhaps revealing something of the nature of reason itself.

Website

The course website is at

http://whythis.net/logic.

Essential resources, including homework assignments and solutions, will be posted here. Similarly the website contains a forum for discussion of the course. To access these you'll need to sign up at the site. You can do this from the course homepage as follows:

  1. click /signup
  2. at the /signup page, enter a username, your email address and a password
  3. at the subsequent /affiliate page, enter the code [redacted for public circulation] plus your first and last names
  4. check your email, and click on the link the message you'll shortly receive from a site robot.
  5. reload the course website.

Book

The following text will be available at the campus bookstore:

  • Herrick, Paul: Introduction to Logic

Coursework

For the sake of evaluation, coursework will be weighted by units as follows.

  • Seven homework assignments (two units)
  • Midterm (one unit)
  • Final exam (two units)
  • Attendance and participation (one unit)

Your final grade will be the average of your highest five marks on these six units.

Homework

Studying logic is like learning a musical instrument: you learn by doing. Although we'll work through material together in class, the homework is intended to be an essential means by which you make progress in this course. Note, also, that the material is deeply cumulative: so keep with it!

As an academic discipline, logic is highly collaborative. People benefit by talking through problems together, until everyone reaches a satisfactory understanding. Naturally, submitted coursework should reflect the understanding reached by you, since if it reflects another student's understanding instead, then the instructor's feedback will be misdirected.

Homework solutions will be posted shortly after the due date, and late assigments will not be accepted.

Exams

Exam questions will in general resemble questions from preceding homework assignments.

So that everyone is on the same page, the instructor will answer questions of the form "what will be on the exam" only in class.

Participation

Your mark on this component depends partly on attendance and partly on contributing to class discussion.

Roadmap

  • Introduction (weeks 1-2)
  • Truth-functional logic (weeks 3-7)
    • translations
    • truth-tables
    • natural deduction
  • Predicate logic (weeks 8-14)
    • relations and identity
    • natural deduction
    • semantics