Syllabus & Schedule
Instructor: Eric Gerlach – firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Description: Introduction to logical problems of language in ancient Indian, Greek, Chinese & modern formal logic, including deduction and induction, fallacies, theories of argument and study of correct reasoning in the history of human thought and our world.
Course Material: A) Bookmark this page, B) watch the videos in the playlist above as you C) read and follow along with the lecture links below, D) read the online, free readings assigned at the top of each lecture page, if there are any (No textbook or reader required!) and, most importantly if you want a grade, E) complete the assignments at your own pace. Otherwise, you will get an F, which isn’t so golden. I will get videos of each lecture up as soon as possible, so please be patient. Email all assignments and essays to me at email@example.com by midnight on the final day of the semester. Here is a link to the BCC Academic Calendar for the dates.
Optional Group Meetings: There are no required meetings, but I am here to meet with you and the group each week Monday mornings 11 to noon, or to talk individually by appointment.
We finish with logical fallacies & puzzles.
Please email answers to the following questions for each assignment to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay on pace and give yourself time, try to complete at least three assignments each month. For the Spring, try to do the first three by March, the second three by April, and the third three by May, giving you time to do the last by the end of the class, before June. For the Fall, do the first three by October, the second three by November, and the third three by December, giving you time to do the last by the end of the class, before January.
First Assignment: Write at least one typed, double-spaced page about your thoughts on logic. Are there things everyone can agree to or should? Can you give examples? What principles of good reasoning are there, and are these basic to the mind or learned through culture?
Second Assignment: A) Describe four examples, a thought that doesn’t use sensations (sights, sounds, etc.), that doesn’t use emotions, that doesn’t involve memories, and that doesn’t use words. Explain your examples. B) Describe an example of inclusive OR, exclusive OR, inclusive AND and exclusive AND, and explain your examples. C) Describe an example where we could use either inclusive OR or inclusive AND, and explain your examples.
Third Assignment: A) Give an example of each of the Jain skeptical principles and explain your example. B) Give an example of Gautama’s syllogistic form of proof, and explain your example. C) Give an example of sharing the fault and three types of quibbling and explain your examples.
Fourth Assignment: A) Create four statements that form a set, one for each of the four corners of the Square of Opposition, such as, for the first corner, All cows have horns, but use your own example. Which two pairs contradict one another? B) Create an example of a Barbara, Celarent, Darii and Ferio syllogism of your own.
Fifth Assignment: 1) Explain each of the two cases of the negation truth table, saying which is true or false and why, using your own examples. 2) Explain each of the two cases of the double negation truth table. 3) Explain each of the four cases of the disjunction truth table. 4) Explain each of the four cases of the conditional truth table. 5) Explain each of the four cases of the biconditional truth table.
Sixth Assignment: For each of the following sentences, symbolize the sentence in Sentential Logic using A, B, and logical connectives, and then evaluate the sentence using the truth table method, giving the four truth values that are your final answer. You do not need to turn in the truth table you draw but you can.
For example, if the sentence is “I have an apple and a banana,” then you would symbolize the sentence as A ^ B, and include TFFF as the final truth values. This first complex set of truth tables does not need parentheses, as these deal with negations of A and B, such as ~A^B, but not negations of combinations of A and B, such as ~(~A^B).
2) I have an apple and I do not have a banana.
3) I do not have an apple or I have a banana
5) If I do not have an apple, I have a banana.
6) If have an apple, I do not have a banana.
Seventh Assignment: Determine the final four truth values for each expression.
1) ~(A v B)
2) ~A ^ ~B
3) De Morgan’s A: ~ (A v B) <> (~ A ^ ~ B)
4) ~(A ^ B)
5) ~A v ~B
6) De Morgan’s B: ~ (A ^ B) <> (~ A v ~ B)
Eighth Assignment: Construct a truth table that proves conditional or biconditional expressions for Commutativity, the Material Conditional, Modus Tollens, the Hypothetical Syllogism and the Dilemma. Send me the four truth values for each biconditional expression.
Ninth Assignment: Now that we have worked our way through the forms of logic we learn in the class, moving past formal logic with the final two lectures, I want you to write a two page reflection on what you think about logic and human thought given what you have learned, what you like and what you don’t like about the history, practice and forms. What does the study of logic do, and what could the study of logic and thought lead to?
Tenth Assignment: Create your own examples of each of the following fallacies, using an imaginary example involving one or more individuals: equivocation, form of expression, composition, division, red herring, false cause and affirming the consequent.
General Student Requirements: Students are expected to come to class prepared to ask questions and participate in discussions. All readings and assignments should be completed by the beginning of class on the day they are listed here. This class is run as a lecture/discussion course. Students are responsible for all class material (even if they miss class). If you miss class, it is strongly advised that you ask a classmate for notes. It is your responsibility to ask if you missed something; it is not the instructor’s responsibility to remind you. Please read through the syllabus and plan ahead.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarists, intentional or inadvertent, will receive a zero on the assignment in question; repeat offenders will get an F for the course and will be subject to college disciplinary action. Students are encouraged to review plagiarism policies in the current Vista College catalog. Attendance is mandatory. If you miss more than five classes, you will receive an F in the course. (Note: I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences; if you miss more than five classes, for any reason, you cannot pass the class.)
Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS) are provided for any enrolled student who has a verified disability that creates an educational limitation that prevents the student from fully benefiting from classes without additional support services or instruction. Please let the instructor know if you require any support services or would like more information about DSPS.
This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Any changes will be announced in class. Additional handouts of required readings may also be added.
Truth Table Assignment Answers
1) The first case is false, because if I have an apple, the statement, I don’t have an apple is false. The second case is true, because if I don’t have an apple, I don’t have an apple is true.
2) The first case is true, because if I have an apple, the statement It isn’t that I don’t have an apple is true. The second case is false, because if I don’t have an apple, It isn’t that I don’t have an apple is false.
3) The first case is true, because if I have an apple and a banana, the
Explain each of the four cases of the disjunction truth table.
4) Explain each of the four cases of the conditional truth table.
5) Explain each of the four cases of the biconditional truth table.
1) FFTF 2) FTFF 3) TFTT 4) TTFT 5) TTTF 6) FTTT
Seventh Assignment: Determine the final four truth values for each expression.
1) FFFT 2) FFFT 3) TTTT 4) FTTT 5) FTTT 6) TTTT
Eighth Assignment: All equivalent expressions that are biconditional should result in TTTT, of course. It doesn’t take drawing out the truth tables to know it beforehand.