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: Wednesday 3:30-5:30, or by appointment.

Important Stuff to Know

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 be supplemental instruction sessions led by Raul Carrillo Covarrubias (raul_cc96 AT tamu DOT edu). SI sessions will occur at the following times and locations:

8-9 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Harrington 105

8-9 pm on Sundays, in Harrington 108.

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.

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

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 Logic: Exercises 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


Sections 1-4 of the Reading on Inductive Logic and Probability

Brian Skyrms, Choice and Chance Chapter 2

Supplemental reading:

introduction to probability

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

Homework 4.5 - this is the updated version

Feb. 19 - review in class


sample 1 answers

sample 2 answers

The SI session on Tuesday, Feb. 20 will be longer - it will be in Harrington 105, from 8 to 9:40 pm.

There will be no SI session on Thursday, Feb. 22.

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


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)

Due Monday, March 19 - after spring break (note that the probability question has been delayed as well)


March 12, 14 SPRING BREAK

March 19, 21


Chapter 7, section 1-3

Sections 5 and 6 of the Reading on Inductive Logic and Probability


Homework 7: 7.12, 7.13 (20 pts), 7.14 (10 pts)

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 26, 28

Reading: Chapter 8, sections 1, 2, 4

Example proofs we did in class:


Homework 8: 8.27 (10 pts), 8.48 (10 pts)

Note that Friday, March 30 is "Reading Day", so there will be no lab section on Thursday, March 29 or Friday, March 30

Instead, lab assignments for Chapter 8 will be done on April 5 or 6

April 2 - review


Sample 1 answers

Sample 2 answers

(answers will be posted again as it gets closer)

Lab sections on April 5, 6 will cover Chapter 8 (this is a change from the earlier description)

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 1-3


Homework 11: 11.2 (10 pts), 11.4 (8 pts), 11.16 (20 pts)

April 30 - review (May 2 is reading day)

No SI session on Tuesday - instead, review on Wednesday, May 2, in BLOC 134 from 7-9 pm.

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

Sample 1 answers

Sample 2 answers