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PHIL 1102-17 Logic

Fall 2009, 3 credit hours, MnTC goals 2 and 4

TTh 2-3:20pm, Room C2044

Instructor: Stephen Donaho, Room A2510, tel. 952-487-8301, email:

Required texts:
Coursepack available in the bookstore
Recommended texts:
H. Pospesel, Introduction to Logic: Propositional Logic (revised third edition)
H. Pospesel, Introduction to Logic: Predicate Logic (second edition)

This course is a practical course in the sense that you will learn to use certain tools of
reasoning. These tools help us to detect faulty reasoning (and so avoid being
hoodwinked), to analyze and solve problems of all sorts, to interpret other charitably, and
write more clearly. As with any tool, one must practice using these tools in order to learn
to use them well. So our course will have the following structure. First I will make some
introductory remarks about what kind of work our tools are for. Thereafter I will
introduce a tool, we will get practice using it, then I will introduce another tool, we will
get practice using it, and so on until the end of the term. The tools we will be using are of
two kinds, definitions (or concepts) and techniques. The techniques we will learn will be
symbolization from English to PL and PQL, truth tables, and formal proofs.

Required work: There will be several problem sets assigned during the term and three
examinations. The tentative dates for the examinations are Sept. 29, Nov. 17, and Dec.
17. Sample examinations with solutions for each may be found in the coursepack. Skills
assessments will be given randomly.

Anticipated course schedule:

Propositional Logic
The artificial language PL
Truth tables
Logical properties of wffs and sets of wffs
Primitive inference rules
Derived inference rules
Predicate Logic
The artificial language PQL
Inference rules for general wffs

Grades: Each examination will be worth one-third of your final grade. Improvement
over the course of the term may be considered in assigning the course grade. Problem
sets will be randomly collected and checked. All but one of the problem sets must be
completed on time; each problem set beyond one not completed on time will result in a
one-half letter grade reduction in your final course grade. Skills assessments will be
graded ‘+’ or ‘-‘; each grade of ‘-‘ beyond two will result in a one-half letter grade
reduction in your final course grade. Incompletes will be granted only under
extraordinary and documented circumstances as determined by the instructor and must be
requested before the first week of December of this term. Make-up examinations will
only be given in extraordinary and documented circumstances as determined by the
instructor and are given entirely at the discretion of the instructor; generally speaking,
make-up examinations will not be given.

Help: I am available in A2510 MW 3-3:45 andTTh 1-1:45. Tutors will be assigned in

the Academic Support Center and I will let you know the tutoring schedule as soon as it
is available. I am also happy to answer questions by email.

Information in this syllabus is subject to alteration and amendment during the

term; all alterations and amendments will be announced in class.
All students enrolled in this course will be held responsible to know the information
in this syllabus and all alterations and amendments announced in class.
Information in this syllabus is available in alternative formats; please contact the
Office for Students with Disabilities.

Instructor’s professional biography: Stephen Donaho holds the B.A. cum laude in
Philosophy from the State University of New York, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in
Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. His doctoral research was on applications
of logic in the study of the semantics of natural languages. He has taught in the
philosophy departments at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas,
Metropolitan State University, Concordia College-New York (where he also held an
appointment as Associate Professor of Liberal Studies), and is presently a tenured
member of the Program in Philosophy at Normandale Community College. His papers
have appeared in Mind and The Journal of Philosophical Logic.