P250 | 10375 | Carlson, Matt

Our topic in this course is logic, the study of correct reasoning. Most reasoning employs only natural language (e.g. English) but, unfortunately, evaluation of natural language arguments is not always a precise affair, owing to the imprecision of the language in which they are stated. To avoid this problem, we will develop a system of symbolic logic; logic that employs artificial languages to articulate and evaluate inferences in a precise and unambiguous way. To that end, we will discuss methods for symbolizing natural language idioms, such as the English "and", "not", "all" and "is", in a symbolic language. We will then cover a variety of techniques for evaluating expressions and arguments formulated in our symbolic language, including truth tables, truth trees, and a natural deduction calculus. Throughout the course, we will demand and employ rigorous and precise reasoning. There is one required book for this course: "Deduction: Introductory Symbolic Logic", 2nd Edition, by Daniel Bonevac. Published by Blackwell, 2003. ISBN: 0-631-22713-X.