Philosophy | Introductory Symbolic Logic
P250 | 3207 | Senchuk
Topic: Logic for Legal Reasoning
This course is a special introduction to the basic ideas and tools of modern deductive
logic, an introduction that emphasizes the application of logic to cases of legal reasoning.
Covering material in both prepositional and predicate logic, the course will present
various methods of assessing the validity of arguments – that is, for determining whether
or not a particular conclusion follows (deductively) from the premises offered in support
of it. The aim of this course is not only to develop skills of logical appraisal, but also to
foster an understanding of why, logically speaking, some reasoning – including some
legal reasoning – is better than other reasoning.
Logical methods are abstract and topic neutral, but this course will seek to illustrate them
with practical examples drawn from legal cases and problems. The course will be of
particular practical value to undergraduates who plan to take the LSAT, but the emphasis
on legal reasoning should also appeal to a wider audience of students who may well find
the concrete legal cases more interesting than some of the contrived, purely academic
examples often used in logic courses.
This course has no prerequisites and does satisfy the logic area requirement for
undergraduate philosophy majors.