Introduction to Math Logic (PHIL 155/001)

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Instructor: Craig Warmke. This course meets Monday – Friday from 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. in Caldwell 103.

This course is an introduction to symbolic logic. We’ll be approaching logic as the science of good reasoning. In order to study good reasoning in itself, we have to abstract away from the misleading and ambiguous forms of English sentences and learn a purely formal, mathematical language. Having learned this language, students will gain a number of other skills. They will translate English sentences into the language in order to see the logical form of ordinary English sentences. They will evaluate whether various arguments are “good” or not, prove various theorems in the formal language, and build their own “good” arguments.

These skills are useful in a number of areas in life. With them, one can detect whether someone’s reasoning is good or bad, including one’s own. And with them, one can become a clearer thinker and writer.

Competency in logic also helps with standardized tests. The LSAT, in particular, requires the reasoning skills taught in this course. (In fact, the instructor was an LSAT teacher and tutor for a well-known test prep company).

Textbook: Language, Proof and Logic. Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy. CSLI Publications: Stanford, California. ISBN 1-57586-374-X.

(We’ll be using the software that comes with the book. You can only register once for the software, so you won’t be able to use someone else’s copy. I would avoid buying used copies for this reason.)

Craig Warmke’s webpage