Philosophy 100: Logic

Fall 2013

MWF 1:30-2:35 PM

Morse-Ingersoll 209

Professor: Matt Tedesco

            E-mail: tedescom@beloit.edu

            Website: http://www.beloit.edu/philo/faculty/tedesco/

            Phone: 363-2146

Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:00-12:00, Wednesdays 2:45-3:45, and by appointment

            Office: Morse-Ingersoll 210

TA: Phillip Busam

            E-mail: busamp@beloit.edu

Textbook: A Concise Introduction to Logic (11th ed.), edited by Patrick J. Hurley (Wadsworth, 2012)

The Class:

The purpose of this course is to introduce students at Beloit College to the basics of logic, in order to understand the mechanics of reasoning. Like understanding reading, writing, and arithmetic, understanding logic is fundamental to functioning well. We will explore two particularly useful kinds of logic: propositional logic and predicate logic. Students should expect to develop their analytic and evaluative skills through in-class lessons and discussion, as well as through frequent homework assignments and exams.


Your grade in the class will be determined as follows:

I. EXAMS (75%)

There will be seven in-class exams throughout the semester. Six of the seven exams will count toward your exam grade; in practice, this means that you will be able to drop one exam grade over the course of the semester. Note, however, that the seventh exam is exempt from this drop policy; it cannot be dropped, and must count as one of your six exams. While each exam will emphasize the material covered since the previous exam, the material in this class is cumulative; therefore, for each exam, you are responsible for all material covered in the class up until the exam date.


Learning logic is a lot like learning a language—repetition is essential. Therefore, homework will be assigned for every regular (non-exam) class meeting. Homework assignments will be checked at the beginning of class, and they will be accepted in class only—they may not be turned in outside of class or via e-mail. This means that, if you are absent for class, you cannot receive credit for completing the homework. Homework will not be graded for correctness, but will be graded pass/fail for completion.  I do not expect you to answer all of the homework problems correctly, but I do expect you to make a serious effort to try to solve each problem. If there is a homework problem that you cannot solve, you are expected to write a brief explanation describing what it is about the problem that stumped you. Note that homework including blank problems—that is, those where you both were not able to make any progress and you failed to offer a brief explanation articulating why—will not receive credit. Each of you begins the semester with an A on this portion of your class grade; every missed or incomplete homework beyond three lowers your homework grade by one-third (e.g., four misses lowers your grade to an A-, five to a B+, etc.).

We will begin our class meetings by reviewing selected questions from the homework, where students will be asked to come to the board and write their answer to a particular problem, and to explain to the class how and why they arrived at that particular answer. If an answer was not found, the student will explain where they got stumped, and how their efforts to solve the problem were stymied. I will solicit volunteers for this, but note that every student will do this once before another student goes twice, every student will do this twice before another goes three times, etc. To keep these contributions evenly distributed, I will call upon students whenever self-selection fails. Failure to participate in this required activity will result in substantial penalties to your final homework grade.


The final component of your overall class grade encompasses several different elements, including (but not limited to) class participation and classroom behavior in general. This component is unique in that, unlike the other components, it is subjective. Attendance, first of all, is mandatory, and students with excessive absences will be penalized, where excessive absences are understood as those over and above the equivalent of one week’s worth of class time. In accordance with Beloit College policy, I expect everyone to come to class, and I furthermore expect everyone who comes to class to be alert and ready to participate. Elements of class activity that may negatively impact your grade include disruptive behavior (e.g., engaging in side-conversations with others, ringing cell phones) or visibly obvious detachment from the class (e.g., reading outside material such as the newspaper or work for other classes, sleeping). Exceptionally strong class activity may raise your overall grade by one-third (e.g., if your final grade is a B, it may be raised to a B-plus), while poor class activity may lower your overall grade by at least one-third (e.g., from B to B-minus or lower).

Note that, as a matter of class policy, laptop computers and tablets may not be used in class. The reason for this is straightforward: the classroom is a place for community conversation, and for a variety of reasons, laptops and tablets hinder conversation. If you believe you have a compelling reason to be exempt from this policy, please see me to discuss the matter.

If a situation of prolonged absence is unavoidable, please make sure to contact me about it. Be aware that I will normally request proper documentation should such a circumstance arise.


What follows is the plan for the semester as I see it now. Reading assignments should be completed before the class that they’re assigned. Note that this schedule is tentative; we may deviate from it as the semester progresses and class discussion takes on a life of its own. If changes are required, they will be announced in class.

If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please provide the appropriate documentation to me from the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services office early in the semester so that your learning needs may be effectively met. Be aware that I cannot make special accommodations without direction from the LEDS office.


8/26:     Class introductions


Basic Concepts

8/28:     Read:   1.1—Arguments, Premises, and Conclusions (1-7)

                        1.2—Recognizing Arguments (14-25)

                        1.3—Deduction and Induction (33-40)

                        1.4—Validity, Truth, Soundness, Strength, Cogency (44-53)

8/30:     Do:      1.4/I: all odd 1-15

                        1.4/II: all odd 1-15

                        1.4/III: all odd 1-15

            Read:   1.5—Argument Forms: Proving Invalidity (57-63)

Informal Fallacies

9/2:       Do:      1.5/I: all even 1-10

                        1.5/II: all even 1-10

            Read:   3.1—Fallacies in General (119-121)

                        3.2—Fallacies of Relevance (122-133)

9/4:       Do:      3.1: all

                        3.2/I: all odd 1-25

Read:   3.3—Fallacies of Weak Induction (138-149)

9/6:       Do:      3.3/I: all even 1-15

                        3.3/III: all even 1-30

            Read:   3.4—Fallacies of Presumption, Ambiguity, and Grammatical Analogy (156-170)

9/9:       Do:      3.4/I: all even 1-25

                        3.4/III: all even 1-50

            Read:   3.5—Fallacies in Ordinary Language (178-184)

9/11:     EXAM 1

Categorical Propositions and Syllogisms

9/13:     Do:      3.5/I: all even 1-60

            Read:   4.1—The Components of Categorical Propositions (197-200)

                        4.2—Quality, Quantity, and Distribution (200-204)

9/16:     Do:      4.2/I: all even 1-8

                        4.2/IV: all

            Read:   4.3—Venn Diagrams and the Modern Square of Opposition (205-215)

9/18:     Do:      4.3/I: all even 1-8

                        4.3/II: all odd 1-15

            Read:   4.4—Conversion, Obversion, and Contraposition (217-225)

9/20:     Do:      4.4/II: all

            Read:   4.7—Translating Ordinary Language Statements into Categorical Form (246-253)

9/23:     Do:      4.7/I: all even 1-60

            Read:   5.2—Venn Diagrams (266-277)

9/25:     EXAM 2

9/27:     Do:      5.2/I: all even 1-20 (omit mood, figure, cross-check)

            Read:   5.4—Reducing the Number of Terms (288-290)

9/30:     Do:      5.4: all even 1-10

            Read:   5.5—Ordinary Language Arguments (292-293)

Propositional Logic

10/2:     Do:      5.5: all even 1-15

            Read:   6.1—Symbols and Translation (310-319)

10/4:     Do:      6.1/I: all even 1-50

            Read:   6.2—Truth Functions (323-332)

10/7:     Do:      6.2/III: all odd 1-25

                        6.2/IV: all odd 1-15

            Read:   6.3—Truth Tables for Propositions (335-341)

10/9:     EXAM 3

10/11:   Do:      6.3/I: every third (3,6,9,…) 1-15

            6.3/II: every third 1-15

            6.3/III: #8

            Read:   6.4—Truth Tables for Arguments (344-347)


10/21:   Do:      6.4/I: all even 1-10

                        6.4/II: every fourth (4,8,12,…) 1-20

            Read:   6.5—Indirect Truth Tables (350-357)

10/23:   Do:      6.5/II: all even 1-15

                        6.5/III: all even 1-10

            Read:   6.6—Argument Forms and Fallacies (360-371)

10/25:   Do:      6.6/I: all even 1-20

            6.6/II: all even 1-20

            6.6/IV: all even 1-10

            Read:   7.1—Rules of Implication I (380-386)

Natural Deduction in Propositional Logic

10/28:   EXAM 4


11/1:     Do:      7.1/III: every third 1-25

                        7.1/IV: #2,5,8

            Read:   7.2—Rules of Implication II (391-396)

11/4:     Do:      7.2/III: every fourth 1-30

                        7.2/IV: #2,5,8

            Read:   7.3—Rules of Replacement I (401-407)

11/6:     Do:      7.3/III: every fifth (5,10,15,…) 1-35

            7.3/IV: #2,5,8

            Read:   7.4—Rules of Replacement II (414-419)

11/8:     Do:      7.4/III: every sixth (6,12,18,…) 1-45

                        7.4/IV: 2,5,8

            Read:   7.5—Conditional Proof (427-430)

11/11:   Do:      7.5/I: every fourth 1-20 (omit attempt without conditional proof)

                        7.5/II: #2,5

            Read:   7.6—Indirect Proof (432-436)

11/13:   EXAM 5

Predicate Logic

11/15:   Do:      7.6/I: every fourth 1-20 (omit attempt without conditional, indirect proof)

            7.6/II: #2,5

Read:   8.1—Symbols and Translation (442-449)

11/18:   Do:      8.1: every third 1-60

            Read:   8.2—Using the Rules of Inference (451-460)


11/22:   Do:      8.2/I: every third 1-15

                        8.2/II: #2,5

            Read:   8.3—Change of Quantifier Rule (464-466)

11/25:   Do:      8.3/I: every third 1-15

                        8.3/II: #2,5

            Read:   8.4—Conditional and Indirect Proof (468-472)

11/27:   EXAM 6


12/2:     Do:      8.4/I: every fourth 1-21

                        8.4/II: #2,5

            Read:   8.6—Relational Predicates and Overlapping Quantifiers (481-488)

12/4:     Do:      8.6/I: every sixth 1-30

                        8.6/II: every third 1-10

                        8.6/III: #2

            Read:   8.7—Identity (492-501)

12/6:     Do:      8.7/I: all even 35-50

8.7/II: every third 1-10

                        8.7/III: #2,5

            Read:   No reading

12/9:     Do:      To be determined (will be announced in class)

            Read:   No reading

12/11:   EXAM 7