Instructor: John T. Roberts. This course meets MW 3:35 – 4:50 p.m. in CW 103.
Symbolic logic, a.k.a. mathematical logic, is a theory about valid inferences. It was invented for the purpose of providing insight into the foundations of mathematical knowledge, and it is one of the sources from which computer science springs. It has relevance to many different fields of inquiry, including philosophy, linguistics, artificial intelligence — and really, to any endeavor in which careful and precise reasoning is required.
This course will be an introduction to symbolic logic with no pre-requisites. The names of the branches of symbolic logic that we will cover include (note: there is no reason in the world for you to know what these terms mean before taking the course!) syntax, semantics, and proof theory for propositional logic and for first-order predicate logic with identity.
This being an honors section, we will move through the material more quickly than a regular section of PHIL 155 would, and we will cover a few additional topics, including some paradoxes and an introduction to Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem.
The work for the course will consist mostly of homework problems and tests. In addition, students will from time to time be required to present solutions to problems on the board. Also, everyone in the class will talk: Each student will be called on from time to time.