Matthew M. Daude
MTWH 6:00-7:55 PM
The ACC catalogue describes this course as "A study of 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." We will pursue three goals in this course:
To develop reasoning skills
To recognize, appreciate, and criticize arguments of various kinds
To learn to construct cogent arguments of various kinds
Consequently, we shall explore a number of issues central to logic, including (but not limited to) the nature and function(s) of language, fallacies in reasoning, inductive vs. deductive argument, mathematical logic, and scientific method.
There are no course prerequisites for Logic. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading portion of the TASP is required, and I highly recommend a passing score or the equivalent on the writing and math portions.
Our objectives for the semester reflect the goals listed above: demonstrated skills in the evaluation and construction of inductive and deductive arguments, use of definitions, and recognition of nonformal fallacies.
Baum, Robert. Logic. 4th edition. New York, N. Y.: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc., 1989.
Throughout this course, I shall emphasize the acquisition of skills rather than memorization of jargon. Accordingly, I will assess your course performance on the basis of the application of these skills. There will be three tests and a final exam. These tests will involve an in-class portion, in which I assess your mastery of techniques, and a take-home portion, in which I ask you to solve problems. I will give one re-test for the take-home portion for each unit, as time permits. The final exam will be comprehensive: I will ask you analyze and critique a variety of arguments, applying the techniques you have learned in the course. (Dont panic! Youll have the opportunity to get plenty of practice.)
Each class period I shall assign problems related to the material we are studying, and I expect you to work the problems. These problems are an integral element in achieving the goals of this course; however, they will not be graded. It will be your responsibility to check your work. If you discover that you are having difficulties, do not hesitate to discuss the problems with me. I will give short quizzes several times a week in order to help you keep up with the homework and assess your progress. I am willing to schedule lab sessions devoted to working problems together, if there is any interest. Occasionally, I may hand out extra credit problems on interesting subjects. Extra credit of this sort will usually be added to the quiz points. I will announce how much these extra credit problems will be worth.
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. Reading and homework assignments will be made in class, so if you need to miss a class, please contact me or a classmate to get the current assignment. Everyone will be expected to participate in class discussion; class participation should be informed comments, observations, etc. By this I mean that everyone should come to class having read, completed (and thought about) the assignment.
I will give frequent (at least weekly) short quizzes, four tests and a final exam this semester, worth a set number of points (see below). Extra credit will be factored into this average. I do not accept late work, except by prior arrangement ("prior" means "prior to the time it was due"!).
(Other times by appointment)
Introductory comments on truth and inquiry
- Basic concepts
- Inquiry and Truth: What is an argument?
- Induction and deduction
Nonformal Analysis of Arguments
- Sentences, statements, and propositions
- The general structure of an argument
- Enumerative Induction
- Scientific Method
- Probability (?)
- Aristotelian Logic
- Propositional Logic
- Quantification (?)