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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic


Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

Course Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11.15-12.05

Prof: Brian Weatherson
brian at weatherson dot net (preferred method of contact)
TA: to be determined
Office hours for each to be determined

I have two aims for the course. By the end of the course you should be able to:
Ò Carry out proofs in a powerful formal system; and
Ò Be familiar with many of the logical concepts you will need for completing
any non-logic subject in a philosophy graduate course.

These two aims are in some tension. If I just cared about the first, I would
spend all our time working with (more or less) uninterpreted formal systems,
and seeing who could master the most complicated proofs. (For a little sample
of what I would try and have you do, try exercise 13.51 in LPL without using
any of the Con rules.) If I just cared about the second, I would focus on things
like the informal reasoning discussed in chapter 5 of LPL, and then leave the
book for a more extended discussion of concepts like necessity and provability.
Since I care about both these things, I will try and balance these aims as much
as possible.
The primary textbook for the course, as you probably know by now, is:

Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy, Language, Proof and Logic. CSLI
Press, 2002.

This book will be (and has been) referred to as LPL in these notes, and in most
notes I distribute. The first eleven or so weeks of the course will be heavily
based around this book, though I may distribute some supplemental notes on
various topics when they become salient.
In the notes, as well as listing the reading for each class, I note the
exercises from the book I expect you to do (and turn in!) before each Monday
class. These should be considered more important than the reading. Logic is not

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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

like other parts of philosophy; you cannot passively learn it. (More precisely,
you will get even less out of a logic course if you try to passively learn it than
you would get out of courses in metaphysics, or ethics, or other areas – not that
passive learning is particularly encouraged in those areas either.)
As you will have noticed already, the textbook is a text/software
package. One implication of this is that many of the exercises can be (and
should be) submitted electronically. One problem is that people who bought
second hand textbooks may not be able to submit work electronically. Since
the bookshop was advised not to sell second-hand books, hopefully this won’t
be a serious problem. If it is a serious problem, let me know and we’ll try and
work out a new arrangement.
At the end of the course we will do a small section on extending what
we’ve learned to deal with counterfactual and modal claims. These concepts
are very important throughout philosophy and may be the most useful things
you’ll learn in this course. For this section we will use David Velleman’s
web-based textbook Blogic, available at

We’ll be looking mainly at chapter 4, but since Velleman uses slightly different
notation to LPL, we’ll have to spend a little time getting up to speed on his

Grading System
Regular submitted work: 60%
Midterm test: 10%
Final test: 30%

For each week’s classes I list reading and exercises. The reading should be done
before the relevant week, or at the latest during the week we are discussing the
material in class. The work is due by 8 a.m. the following Monday (if to be
done electronically) or the following Monday’s class (if to be done on paper).
You can (and where possible should) do the work while doing the reading, but
in some cases it will be difficult, and you will want to wait until hearing my

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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

pearls of wisdom before doing the work. But there will often be too much work
to be done on the weekend, and you will need to do some of the exercises after
Monday’s and Wednesday’s classes in order to keep the workload manageable.
In the work section of the syllabus I list a series of numbers; these are exercises
from LPL.

NB: Many of the terms in the syllabus will probably be rather unfamiliar to
you if you haven’t taken a logic course before. Some will be unfamiliar even if
you have. This is a common problem in technical courses - see any advanced
mathematics syllabus for similar examples. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a
problem. If you want any of the terms explained in more detail, let me know.

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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

Unit One: Propositional Logic

Week One: August 27
Aims and nature of course
The textbook and the software
Syntax of atomic sentences in FOL
Reading: Introduction, Sections 1.1-1.3 of LPL
Work (due August 30): 1.1-1.6

Week Two: August 30 – September 3

Syntax of functional notation, arithmetic and set theory
Alternative notations
Tarski’s World program
Validity and soundness
Fitch-style proofs, and the program Fitch
Proofs using identity
Demonstrating non-consequence
Reading: Chapters 1 and 2 of LPL
Work (due September 6): 1.9-11, 2.1, 2.15-2.21

Week Three: September 6 - 10

Three Boolean connectives (and, or, not)
Role of parenthesis in removing ambiguity
Important equivalences between Boolean sentences
Use of truth tables in determining: truth conditions, tautologies, equivalence,
validity, invalidity
Reading: Chapter 3 and Sections 4.1-4.5 of LPL
Work (due September 13): 3.1-3.3, 3.5-3.18, 3.20-3.22, 4.1-4.9, 4.12-4.19, 4.24

Week Four: September 13-17

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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

Truth tables on the cheap

Some important informal patterns of reasoning: argument by cases, indirect
Arguments with inconsistent premises
Formal proofs using Boolean connectives
Rules for conjunction
Rules for disjunction
Rules for negation
The nature of subproofs
Reading: Chapters 5 and 6 of LPL
Work (due September 20): 5.1, 5.3, 5.6, 5.8, 5.9, 5.20, 5.26, 6.1-6.9, 6.12,

Week Five: September 20-24

Elimination rules for the material conditional
Introduction rules for the material conditional
Important equivalences of statements containing conditionals
Important types of proof
Reading: Chapter 7 and section 8.1 of LPL
Work (due September 27): 7.1-7.8, 7.10-7.19, 7.25-7.28, 8.1-8.3, 8.8, 8.16

Week Six: September 27 – October 1

Soundness and completeness
Class Test – in class on October 1 – 45 minute test on all the material in Unit
Reading: Chapter 8 of LPL
Work (due October 4): 8.18-8.25, 8.41-8.43

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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

Unit Two: Predicate Logic

Week Seven: October 4-8
Introducing the two central quantifiers: $ and"
Syntax for the quantifiers
Semantics for the quantifiers
Translating complex English sentences into quantified sentences
Quantifiers and Gricean implicature
Multiple quantifiers in a single sentence
Reading: Sections 9.1-9.7 and 11.1-2 of LPL
Work (due October 13): 9.16, 9.19, 11.13-11.15, 11.45

Week Eight: October 13-15

(Note the short week due to Fall Break)
Propositional Logic and Predicate Logic
First-Order validity
Some important equivalences in first-order logic
Informal introduction to the quantifier rules
Reading: Sections 10.1-10.4 of LPL
Work (due October 18): 10.1, 10.8, 10.9, 10.22-10.29

Week Nine: October 18-22

Rules of proof for the universal quantifier
Rules of proof for the existential quantifier
Proof strategies for quantified logic
Reading: Chapter 13 of LPL
Work (due October 25): 13.23-13.31, 13.49-13.52

Week Ten: October 25-27

(Note the short week due to my being away at a conference)

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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

Basic set theory: singletons, empty set, subset, intersection, union

Properties of relations
Semantics for quantified logic
Models for first-order logic
Reading: Sections 15.1-5 and 18.1-2 of LPL
Work (due November 1): 15.4-6, 15.11-13, 15.22, 15.29-35

Week Eleven: November 1-3

(Note the short week due to my being away at a conference)
Soundness proof for rules of FOL
Reading: Sections 18.1-3 of LPL
Work (due November 8): 18.7-9, 18.14-17

Week Twelve: November 8-12

Numerical quantification
Russell’s theory of definite descriptions
Conservativity, Monotonicity and Persistence
Review of Predicate Logic
Reading: Chapter 14 of LPL
Work (due November 15): 14.1-5, 14.8-9, 14.13, 14.26, 14.28, 14.51, 14.56

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Syllabus for PHIL231: Introduction to Deductive Logic

Unit Three: Modal Logic and Counterfactuals

Week Thirteen: November 15-19
Survey of Velleman’s notation
The differences between counterfactual and regular conditionals
Possible worlds diagrams
Subjunctive Conditionals
Reading: Sections 4.0-4.2 of BLogic
Work (to be assigned)

Week Fourteen: November 22-26

Complex Counterfactuals
Reading: Sections 4.3-4.6 of BLogic, and notes to be distributed

Week Fifteen: November 29 – December 3

(Note that there’s no class on Wednesday December 1 due to my being away at
a conference)
Logical Relations
Representing other modal operators using possible worlds
Reading: Section 4.7 of BLogic and notes to be distributed

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