PHL 1633: Logic

Matthew M. Daude

Section 4492

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 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 forms and strategies, mathematical logic, and scientific method. Our emphasis will be on application of these tools in the construction and evaluation of arguments.

PHL1633 Objectives

  1. To develop reasoning skills
  2. To recognize, appreciate, and criticize arguments of various kinds
  3. To learn to construct cogent arguments of various kinds

PHL1633 Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate improved critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.
  2. Students will be able to recognize and evaluate arguments of various kinds
  3. Students will be able to construct cogent arguments of various kinds

Preliminary Issues

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.

Internet access and an email address is recommended. I will post a number of supplementary materials and other items of interest on the PHL 1633 web pages.

Office Hours

Mondays 1:30-3:30 PM

RVS 2283

Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 PM RGC 017
Wednesdays 3:00-4:00 PM RGC 017
  (Other times by appointment)  

RVS 2283



Text and Reading Assignments

Baum, Robert. Logic

I will announce reading assignments in class and post them on the readings page for our course. Handouts, if any, will be posted as wed unCheck the readings page for supplementary material and other items of interest (including Matthew's famous Logic Puzzle of the Day!).

Work and Grading Policy

I will give frequent (at least weekly) short quizzes, four exams and a comprehensive final exam this semester, weighted according to the following chart. 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"!). Please see the General Course Policies for further guidelines.

Weekly quizzes




Final Exam 25%

Coursework Guidelines


Readings are, in fact, coursework! 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. I expect everyone 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 (and thought about) the assignment.


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 four exams and a comprehensive 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. 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. (Don’t panic! You’ll have the opportunity to get plenty of practice.)

For fans of Bloom's taxonomy, the in-class portion of the exams begin at the knowledge and comprehension levels and move beyond comprehension to application. The take-home portion is at the application level (at least).

Homework and Quizzes

I will 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.

Course Calendar

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.

Course Outline

I. Introductory comments on truth and inquiry

  1. Basic concepts
  2. Inquiry and Truth: What is an argument?
  3. Induction and deduction

II. Nonformal Analysis of Arguments

  1. Sentences, statements, and propositions
  2. The general structure of an argument

III. Induction

  1. Enumerative Induction
  2. Scientific Method
  3. Probability (?)

IV. Deduction

  1. Aristotelian Logic
  2. Propositional Logic
  3. Quantification (?)

V. Nonformal Fallacies

Check the PHL 1633 main page frequently for due dates and other announcements.


This page was last updated on 03/01/09 by mmd.