PHIL 114, Sec. 1001: TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm in BEH 213

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Spring 2014

Professor: James Woodbridge

email address:

Course Webpage: http://faculty.unlv.edu/jwood/unlv/Phil114S14.htm

Office Hours: T 4pm-5pm, W 12:30pm-2pm, and by appointment

Office: CDC 426

Office Phone: 895-4051

Dept. Phone: 895-3433

This course aims to introduce students to the basic concepts and
achievements of modern formal, or symbolic, logic. Symbolic logic is
the application of formal, mathematical methods in the study of
reasoning. The type of reasoning under consideration is specifically *deductive* (as opposed to *inductive*)
reasoning. Deductive reasoning gives rise to a rich, abstract
theoretical structure that is both of intrinsic interest and practical
importance. Identifying general inferential moves that are guaranteed
to have true outputs provided they have true inputs improves one's
ability to reason effectively about real-world matters, and helps one
discover when a line of reasoning is not effective. Beyond its central
role as a tool in philosophical inquiry, deductive logic is also
important in the foundations of mathematics and computer science, and
in linguistics, psychology, and artificial intelligence. The material
covered in this course will include such topics as the nature and
general features of deductive arguments, argument validity and
soundness, symbolization, truth-functional logical (Boolean)
connectives, quantifiers, checking argument validity using truth-tables, giving counterexamples, and constructing formal deductive proofs. Throughout, the main focus of our inquiry is the nature of the relation of logical consequence or "following from". To this end we will examine logical consequence and nonconsequence in an artificial formal language (the language of first-order logic, or FOL) that captures certain formal aspects of our talk and thought in a particularly perspicuous way.

**Books:**

Baker-Plummer, D., Barwise, J. and Etchemendy, J. *Language, Proof and Logic, (Second Edition)*. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2011.

Everyone must purchase his or her own textbook/software combination.

The book and software for the course is available at **The
UNLV Bookstore**.

**III. CLASS REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING SCHEME**

Participation................................................................10%

Homework..................................................................15%

First Test.....................................................................20%

Second Test.................................................................25%

Final Exam..................................................................30%

__Participation__—This requirement is designed to take into
account contributions during class (e.g., asking questions, suggesting
moves for proofs done in class, etc.) and improvement throughout the
term.

__Homework__—This requirement covers completion of and
performance on the homework assignments. The homework serves to provide
practice with the techniques presented in class, so *it is crucial that you keep up with the assignments*.
These assignments will mostly be done on the computer through the
software that comes with the book; it will then be graded via
submission to an on-line grading program. No late assignments will be
accepted.

__The First Test__—There will be a timed, in-class, pen-and-paper (i.e., not on a computer) test in late February. The test questions will include problems like those on the homework
assignments (but here written out by hand), as well as questions
concerning definitions and concepts we have covered.

__The Second Test__—There will be a second timed, in-class, pen-and-paper test in late March or early April. Again, the test questions will include problems like those on the homework assignments, as well as questions concerning definitions and concepts we have covered.

__The Final Exam__—There will be a timed, in-class, pen-and-paper final exam given **Thursday, May 15, 2014** at **3:10pm**. Because of the nature of the course material, the final will essentially be cumulative, but it will emphasize the material from the latter half of the course. Again, the exam questions will include problems similar to those from the homework as well as some pertaining to definitions and concepts.

The class will consist mostly of lectures, demonstrations of
problem-solving techniques, and sample exercises. However, I want to
encourage student participation throughout the class--both in the form
of questions and suggestions about how to approach problems we are
considering. Class meetings will typically consist of two different
(not necessarily equal) parts: one in which I will lecture on the
material you have read about for the day and work some sample problems,
and one in which I will answer questions about problems from homework
assignments that students would like to go over.

**V. CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE**

In recent years it has become necessary to make a further comment about classroom etiquette. Engaging in activities like text messaging, surfing the web, checking Facebook, tweeting, IMing, etc. during class is entirely inappropriate. In fact, it is extremely rude and highly disrespectful of our joint enterprise of teaching and learning. Whether you are sitting in the back and presume you are not interfering with anyone else is irrelevant. It is not a question of what you are *caught* doing; it is a matter of what you *do*, noticed or not. I expect everyone to behave appropriately during class, engaging with our cooperative project and refraining from inappropriate activities at all times.

Almost all of the readings and homework assignments will be from the textbook, *Language, Proof and Logic*,
by Baker-Plummer, Barwise and Etchemendy. The reading assignments will be listed on the course webpage by chapter and section number, along with page
numbers (in parentheses). Homework assignments will be listed by their
numbers. There will also be some additional material distributed on
handouts through the course webpage.

The general topics covered in the course (and their likely order of presentation) are as follows:

- The Nature and Logic of Atomic Sentences (Chapters 1 and 2)
- The Nature and Logic of Boolean Connectives (Chapters 3 and 4)
- Translations between English and FOL (Chapter 3)
- Testing Argument Validity: Truth-Tables (Chapter 4)
- The Nature and Logic of Conditionals (Chapter 7)
- Proofs in Boolean Logic (Chapters 5, 6 and 8)
- The Nature and Logic of Quantifiers (Chapters 9 and 10)
- Multiple and Mixed Quantifiers (Chapter 11)
- Proofs in Quantificational Logic (Chapters 12 and 13)