P250 | 4560 | H. Demir

In a nutshell, Logic deals with ‘good reasoning’, and the main tool by which we reason is arguments. So, to identify ‘good reasoning’ requires asking questions like ‘Is this argument valid?’ or "Does the conclusion of this argument follow from its premises?" To find the answer is a little bit tricky, because we have to imagine all possible situations in which the premises are true and then find out if the conclusion is true in those situations. A HUGE TASK… In many cases, it is almost impossible to cover all possible situations. In this course, we will try to learn some formal tools that will help us to avoid the burden of imagining all possible situations. The first of these formal tools is called Propositional Logic. As we will see, it is a pretty useful tool for identifying valid arguments. However, it is not powerful enough to deal with some arguments: the ones which have quantifiers like ‘all’ and ‘some’ in their premises and/or conclusion. Hence, we will extend Propositional Logic to Predicate Logic which is nothing but Propositional Logic plus two quantifiers. At the end of the semester, hopefully, we will be able to deal with all arguments. An ambitious, but manageable claim. Such a course in formal logic will be useful for philosophy, athematics, computer science, cognitive science and informatics majors, and many others. The course grade will be determined on the basis of one midterm, one final and regular homeworks/quizzes. The text book is Barwise and Etchemendy’s “Language, Proof and Logic” published by CSLI. Please feel free to send an e-mail to the instructor if you have any question and/or comment. (hdemir@indiana.edu)