P250 | 10496 | Weiner

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.