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Instructor: Robert Smithson. This class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 – 9:15 a.m. in Caldwell 105.

We know that some arguments are good and some arguments are bad. But just what is it that makes some arguments good? In general, an argument is good only if its conclusion follows logically from its premises – we call these types of arguments valid. Logic is the formal study of validity. In this class, we will use formal techniques that help us determine in a rigorous way whether or not a given argument is valid. To this end, we will study special formal languages and will learn how to translate between these languages and English. We will begin the course by studying sententiallogic and will then move on to study a richer system of quantificationallogic. The goal of the class is to show students how evaluating arguments in formal languages can help to clarify our everyday patterns of reasoning.

The text used for this course is available online:

Robert Smithson’s webpage