PHIL 155.002 – Truth and Proof: Introduction to Mathematical Logic
Instructor: Jackson LeViness. This course meets MTWRF 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. via remote synchronous (RS) instruction.
It is difficult to go a day without encountering arguments. Public figures, politicians, friends, enemies, etc. give us reasons why we should accept some conclusion or other. How do we determine when their arguments are good ones? Under what circumstances must a conclusion follow from the reasons given for it? Mathematical logic is an extremely useful tool for answering these sorts of questions. In this course, we will work toward proficiency in wielding this tool by mastering a variety of techniques supplied by mathematically precise artificial languages.
This course satisfies the QR general education requirement. No prior background knowledge in logic, math, or philosophy is required or assumed for this course. We will begin with the most basic building blocks of languages of logic, and work our way up from there. Anyone with an interest in the features of good argumentation is welcome.
Taking this course over the summer is especially advantageous, for at least a few reasons:
- The class size for this course is typically smaller than the average Fall/Spring Semester course. This provides ample room for individual questions and concerns to be addressed, where students who may have a more difficult time participating in larger groups may find it easier to contribute.
- The smaller class setting allows for more flexibility with the course’s pacing – e.g., more time during the semester can be allotted to particular sections of the course in which students could use further clarification/practice.
- This course works best when students are able to regularly practice the techniques learned in class. The structure of a typical summer course – meeting every weekday for a few weeks – provides a more continuous timeline that helps make regular practice easier to achieve.