PHIL 155.001 – Introduction to Mathematical Logic

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Instructor: John T. Roberts. This course meets MW 9:05 – 9:55 a.m. in HM 100, with a recitation on Fridays.

Logic is the study of which patterns of reasoning from assumptions to conclusions are the good ones — i.e., the ones in which the assumptions really do support the conclusions.  Mathematical logic (a.k.a. “symbolic logic” or “formal logic”) is concerned with particular with patterns of reasoning in which the assumptions are intended to provide complete support for the conclusion — i.e., if the assumptions are all true, this is supposed to leave no possibility for the conclusion to be false.  (This is the kind of reasoning found in mathematical proofs, but it is sometimes found in other places as well.)  It (that is, mathematical logic) employs a special formal language and a set of techniques for testing patterns of reasoning to see whether they live up to this high standard. In this course, we will learn some of these techniques, including the truth-table method and the methods of proof and counterexample in propositional and first-order predicate logic with multiple quantification.