Teaching‎ > ‎2018 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/Wednesday 1-3, or by appointment.

Jared Oliphint - joliphint AT tamu DOT edu - sections 501, 502, 503

Office: YMCA 428
Office Hours: Thursday 10:30-12:30, or by appointment.

Sean Conte - srconte AT tamu DOT edu - sections 504, 505, 506

Office: YMCA 422
Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 3:30-5:30, or by appointment.

Dong An - dong_an AT tamu DOT edu - sections 507, 508, 509

Office: YMCA 315
Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 4-5:30, or by appointment.

Supplemental Instruction:
In addition to lectures, lab sections, and office hours from me and the TAs, there will likely be supplemental instruction sessions led by Raul Carrillo Covarrubias (raul_cc96 AT tamu DOT edu).

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.

DO NOT BUY A USED COPY - your code won't be able to submit assignments!

Assignments and Grading Policies:
There are four types of assignments in this class.

Weekly homework exercises, due by the beginning of lecture on Mondays (25% of grade)
Weekly exercises to do during sections (25% of grade)

(Each week's assignment counts equally towards the overall homework or section grade - the number of points listed on each exercise is just a rubric saying how much each exercise counts compared to the others for that week.)

Two midterm exams (25% of grade together, 12.5% of grade each)
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. Submitting assignments will need a "Grade Grinder key" that comes with the book, which 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!

Download link (requires Grade Grinder key)
Also available on the computers in YMCA 114, as well as on all Open Access Lab computers on campus.

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). We also discuss 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. 17

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. 22. If you don't have the book yet, the relevant pages are here.

Jan. 22, 24


Language, Proof, and Logic: Chapter 2, sections 1-5
Brian Skyrms, Choice and Chance: Chapter 2, sections 1-3 (pp. 12-17)

Homework 2:

Language, Proof, and LogicExercises 2.2 (14 pts) and 2.7 (12 pts)
Choice and Chance: p. 17, ranking the five arguments (10 pts)

Get these to your TA (by e-mail or hard copy) by class time on Monday, Jan. 29.

Boolean logic

Jan. 29, 31

Reading: Chapter 3, sections 1-7
Homework 3: 3.13 (12 pts), 3.21, 3.22 (12 pts)

You will need to use the Submit program - contact us if it isn't working.
Submit each file to "Just Me" and check e-mail to confirm that you got it right.

Once you are done, submit all the files at once to "Instructor Too".

Due by class time on Monday, Feb. 5 (all assignments are due by class time on the following Monday)

Feb. 5, 7

Reading: Chapter 4, sections 1-4
Homework 4: 4.7 (5 pts), 4.17 (5 pts), 4.23 (10 pts)

Note for exercises using the Boole program. It sometimes causes errors in submitting - if you think you've done it right, and the program is still giving you errors, then e-mail the file to your TA and explain the problem.

Introduction to Probability

Feb. 12, 14

Reading: Brian Skyrms, Choice and Chance Chapter 2
Supplemental reading:

an explanation of Bayes' Theorem, which is a technique we will use later to calculate probabilities
more on Bayes' Theorem - the first section or two are most helpful, and perhaps the linked appendix with examples worked out

last semester's Homework 4.5 - new one not posted yet

Feb. 19 - review in class

Note: there will be section on Thur./Fri. Feb. 22, 23, but they will mainly be review


Feb. 26, 28

Reading: Chapter 5, sections 1-4
Homework 5: 5.3 (5 pts), 5.5 (5 pts), 5.10 (10 pts), 5.16 (10 pts)

March 5, 7

Reading: Chapter 6, sections 1-6
Homework 6: 6.4, 6.9, 6.19 (5 pts each)

Probability question (10 points):

The probability of A given B is .4. The probability of A given ~B is .2. The probability of B is .5. What are the probabilities of the four possibilities? (5 pts) What is the probability of B given A? (5 pts)


March 12, 14 SPRING BREAK

March 19, 21

Reading: Chapter 7, section 1-3
Homework 7: 7.12, 7.13 (20 pts), 7.14 (10 pts)

March 26, 28

Reading: Chapter 8, sections 1, 2, 4
Homework 8: 8.27 (10 pts), 8.48 (10 pts)

April 2 - review

Note: There will be sections on Thursday and Friday, Apr. 5 and 6 but they will mainly be review

Quantifier Logic

April 9, 11

Reading: Chapter 9, sections 1-6
Homework 9: 9.9 (8 pts) and 9.18 (10 pts)

April 16, 18

Reading: Chapter 10, section 1-4
Homework 10: 10.9 (20 pts)

April 23, 25

Reading: Chapter 11, sections 1-5
Homework 11: 11.2 (10 pts), 11.4 (8 pts), 11.16 (20 pts)

April 30 - review (May 2 is reading day)

Final exam: Thursday, May 3, 7:30 am-9:30 am