Philosophy | Elementary Logic
P150 | 0479 | Kesler
How can we reason more clearly? How can we detect the strengths and weaknesses in
the reasoning of ourselves and others? How can we tell whether or not we are persuaded
by good reasoning or by mere prejudice? What is it that distinguishes good reasoning
from bad reasoning?
In this introductory course, we will be thinking about how the concepts and techniques of
formal logic help us to respond to these questions. Topics will be selected from the
following: the soundness, validity, and cogency or arguments, deductive and inductive
reasoning, formal and informal fallacies, translation of English sentences into the
language of first order prepositional logic, and proofs using natural deduction, Venn
diagrams, truth tables, and truth trees.
As this course is more like a math or science course than a course in the humanities,
much of our work will focus on problem solving. Course requirements include frequent
homework assignments and a few quizzes and exams. Small group work and student
presentations of some of the material are also an integral part of the course.