PHIL2303: Logic

Matthew Daude Laurents, Ph.D.


MW 9:00-10:20 AM
RGC 3302

Spring, 2012

Contact Information

Office Rio Grande Campus
Room 3105

ACC email
Instructional email
Instructional Web

Instructional Office Hours

Monday 8:00 to 9:00 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I (interior)
Tuesday/Thursday 9:00 to 10:30 AM online (Windows Messenger or Blackboard)
Wednesday 8:00 to 9:00 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I (interior)

Other times by appointment

Course Description

Students will be introduced to the rules of argument, inductive and deductive reasoning, the recognition of informal and formal fallacies, and the application of logical thinking in work and social situations.

There are no course prerequisites for Logic. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading, writing, and mathematics portions of the skills assessment is required.

We will explore a number of issues central to logic, including (but not limited to) the nature and functions of language, fallacies in reasoning, inductive vs. deductive argument forms and strategies, mathematical logic, and scientific method. Our emphasis will be on application of these tools in the construction and evaluation of arguments.

Required Texts/Materials

Baum. Logic, 4th edition (ISBN 0155016172)

The text is available in the ACC bookstore. Additional required readings and assignments will also be posted to the Blackboard instructional web for this course.

Reading assignments and due dates will be found on the online coursework calendar. Handouts, if any, will be posted as well. Check my instructional web for supplementary material and other items of interest (including Matthew's famous Logic Puzzle of the Week!).

Instructional Methodology

The class will consist predominantly of lecture and in-class group work, but it will also include a significant online component using a Blackboard online classroom. I may use a variety of media in my presentations, including web material, etc. The major form of individual assessment will be exams and online quizzes. I may also use online forms to gather information about your progress in the coursework. I would prefer that assignments be submitted by email wherever possible.

Internet access and an email address is required.

Course Rationale

As human beings we think of ourselves as rational beings, beings who use reason in drawing judgments and determining actions. Since Logic is the science through which we assess the quality of reasoning, logic is essential to good judgment and right action.

PHIL2303 Objectives

Departmental Course Objectives/Outcomes

  1. Students will become acquainted with techniques of reasoning, including deduction and induction.
  2. Students will develop the means to analyze and critically evaluate arguments, both in the classroom and as they appear in everyday contexts.
  3. Students will (further) develop the ability to construct cogent arguments.

Coursework and Grading Policy

There will be three exams and a series of homework exercises this semester, weighted according to the following chart. I will occasionally give extra credit problems, credit for which will be designated either for the homework or exam total. I do not accept late work except by prior arrangement ("prior" means "prior to the time it was due"!). Please see the General Course Policies for further guidelines.

Component points
Homework journal 100
Project 75
Exams (100 points each) 300
Total 475

See the Coursework Guide for a more detailed explanation of the written work.


Review my Course Policies online. There are links to the Course Policies on the main page of my instructional web and on the Blackboard portal for this course. The Course Policies page is part of this syllabus.

Course Outline

Since the class will help determine the pace at which we cover the material, I will give only an outline of the topics I plan to cover.

  1. Introductory comments: language, truth and inquiry
    1. Basic concepts
    2. Inquiry and Truth: What is an argument?
    3. Uses of Language
    4. Definitions
  2. Informal analysis of arguments
    1. The general structure of arguments
    2. Induction and Deduction
  3. Induction
    1. Analogical Reasoning
    2. Enumerative Induction
    3. Causality
    4. Scientific Method
    5. Probability (?)
  4. Deduction
    1. Aristotelian Logic
    2. Propositional Logic
    3. Quantification
  5. Nonformal Fallacies
    1. Fallacies of Relevance
    2. Fallacies of Presumption
    3. Fallacies of Ambiguity
  6. Conclusion

Refer to the course calendar on Blackboard for a more detailed list of topics, reading assignments, and exercises. Check the course calendar frequently for due dates and other announcements.

Return to top or Back