Teaching‎ > ‎2017 Spring‎ > ‎

Phil 240

Introduction to Logic

Lecture: CHEM 100, Monday/Wednesday 5:45 pm-6:35 pm
Sections: YMCA 114
501: Thursday 2:20-3:10 pm
502: Friday 8:00-8:50 am
503: Friday 9:10-10:00 am
504: Friday 10:20-11:10 am
505: Friday 11:30 am-12:20 pm
506: Friday 12:40-1:30 pm
507: Friday 1:50-2:40 pm
508: Friday 3:00-3:50 pm
509: Friday 4:10-5:00 pm

Professor: Kenny Easwaran, easwaran AT tamu DOT edu
Office: YMCA Building 314, (979) 847-6128
Office Hours: Monday 1-3, or by appointment.

Rob Reed - rpr82 AT tamu DOT edu - sections 501, 502, 503
Matt Wester - matthew22wester AT tamu DOT edu - sections 504, 505, 506
Dong An - dong_an AT tamu DOT edu - sections 507, 508, 509

Supplemental Instruction:
In addition to meeting with your TA during sections, and office hours with me or them, Lawson Hamilton is available for supplemental instruction. He will run three weekly study sessions: 
MW 7-8 pm
Th 5:30-6:30 pm
HECC 201

There is also a Facebook group:


Text: Language, Proof, and Logic by John Barwise and John Etchemendy
You can buy an electronic copy, which includes all software, online for $55 here.
You can also buy a hard copy on the same site, or at the campus bookstore.

Be careful if buying a used copy - it might not be possible to get a license for the software that will allow you to submit assignments!

Assignments and Grading Policies:
There are four types of assignments in this class. Weekly exercises to do during sections (25% of grade), weekly homework exercises to do at home, due by the beginning of lecture on Mondays (25% of grade), two midterm exams (25% of grade together), and a final exam (25% of grade).

Most weekly exercises (both in-section and homework) will be turned in to your TA using the software that comes with the book. You can download the software from the site or using a CD that comes with the hard copy. If you don't have access to a computer that can install the software, it is installed on the computers in YMCA 114, as well as on all Open Access Lab computers on campus.

You will need a "Grade Grinder key" that you will get when you purchase the book, and this key cannot be shared. Once you associate an e-mail address with this key, you can only change the e-mail address once, so be sure to use the address that you plan to use for all your school work!

Course Description:
This course introduces students to the central concepts of deductive and inductive logic. This gives students training and practice in abstract reasoning of a type applicable to every subject matter. The specific method involves the construction and analysis of very precise artificial languages to supplement the imprecise natural languages we speak.

We begin with the general conceptual issues of deductive logic, as the study of what conclusion must be true if some premises are true. We develop this in detail starting first with the role of Boolean logic (and, or, not), and continuing with conditionals and quantifiers (if/then, every, some). In the final few weeks we introduce the concepts of probability and inductive logic - what it takes for some premises to give us a good reason to believe a conclusion, even if they don't guarantee it.

Working in Groups: 
I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with other students. You can learn a lot by trying to explain something to someone else, and finding out that there's a step you don't quite understand yourself, and then figuring it out together. However, when you finish working through an assignment, you must write it up and submit it yourself, so that we can see how you individually are doing with the material. For the automatically graded assignments sent through the Submit program, the computers will recognize if you've just copied someone's file - you must create your own file even if you are submitting the same answer. For assignments involving writing, which will be given directly to your TA (they will let you know whether they prefer e-mail or hard copy), you should indicate at the top who you worked with.

An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do. http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu

Disability Statement:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services, currently located in the Disability Services building at the Student Services at White Creek complex on west campus or call 979-845-1637. For additional information, visit http://disability.tamu.edu.

Additional sources:
You are not required to look at any of this material, but you might find it helpful or interesting.
Video lectures to accompany the book
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - if there is any philosophical topic or question you get interested in, there is likely an article on this site discussing it.


Basic logical concepts

Jan. 18

Reading: Chapter 1, sections 1-4
Homework 1: Exercises 1.8 (6 pts) and 1.10 (8 pts), to your TA (by e-mail or hard copy) by class time on Monday, Jan. 23. If you don't have the book yet, the relevant pages are here.

Jan. 23, 25

Reading: Chapter 2, sections 1-5
Homework 2: Exercises 2.2 (14 pts) and 2.7 (12 pts), to your TA (by e-mail or hard copy) by class time on Monday, Jan. 30.

Boolean logic

Jan. 30, Feb. 1

Reading: Chapter 3, sections 1-7
Homework 3: Exercises 3.13 (12 pts), 3.21 (12 pts), 3.22, due by class time on Monday, Feb. 6.
You will need to use the Submit program - contact us if it isn't working. Remember that you can submit answers to "Just Me" for each exercise one by one, and confirm that you got it right. Submit to "Instructor Too" only once you are done with all exercises, and include them all in one submission.

Feb. 6, 8

Reading: Chapter 4, sections 1-4
Homework 4: Exercises 4.8 (10 pts) and 4.9 (36 pts) due by class time on Monday, Feb. 13.

For Exercise 4.9, you are asked to make and submit some truth tables via the Boole program. Last semester, this program was causing errors for some students when they tried to Submit their files - if you think you've done it right, and the program is still giving you errors, then don't worry about submitting the truth tables, and just make a note on the written part to your TA about the problem. Having made the truth tables will still be very helpful for figuring out all the other parts of this assignment.

Feb. 13, 15

Reading: Chapter 5, sections 1-4
Homework 5: 5.3, 5.5, 5.11 (10 pts each), 5.13, 5.21 (5 pts each), due by class time on Feb. 20.

Feb. 20, 22

Reading: Chapter 6, sections 1-6
Homework 6: 6.4, 6.11, 6.13, 6.19, due by class time on Feb. 27.

Feb. 27, review

Homework 6 1/2: 6.32, due by class time on March 8.

Conditionals and Quantifiers

March 6, 8

Reading: Chapter 7, section 1-3
Homework 7: 7.12 (20 pts), 7.13, 7.5 (5 pts), 7.6 (5 pts), due Monday, March 20 (after spring break)

March 13, 15 - SPRING BREAK

March 20, 22

Reading: Chapter 8, sections 1, 2, 4
Homework 8: 8.22, 8.23, 8.27, due Monday, March 27, by class time

March 27, 29

Reading: Chapter 9, sections 1-6
Homework 9: 

April 3, 5

Reading: Chapter 10, section 1-4
Homework 10:

April 10, 12

Reading: Chapter 11, sections 1-5
Homework 11:

April 17, review
Midterm 2, April 19

Probability and inductive logic

April 24, 26
Reading: Brian Skyrms, Choice and Chance Chapter 2
Supplemental reading - introduction to probability

Homework 12

May 1 - review day in lecture

Homework 13

Final exam: Thursday, May 4, 7:30 am-9:30 am