Philosophy | Introductory Symbolic Logic
P250 | 9764 | Weinter


A deductive argument is valid just in case it is not possible for all
its premises to be true while the conclusion is false.  But how can
we tell when we have exhaustively surveyed all possibilities?  It may
seem that we can never be quite sure—there are too many possibilities
to check.  The task of this logic course is to develop a general
technique for evaluating deductive arguments. The first step involves
the use of a formal language for expressing the underlying logical
structure of a broad range of English sentences. The next step is to
introduce a variety of techniques for evaluating formal arguments,
including truth tables and deductions. Once an English argument is
translated into the formal language, formal techniques can be to
solve the apparently informal problem with which we began, i.e., the
problem of finding out whether it is possible for the conclusion of
the argument to be false while all its premises are true.

There will be weekly graded homework, 2 mid-term examinations and a
final examination.  The text will be Virginia Klenk’s Understanding
Symbolic Logic.  We will *not* be using any computer software in this
class.