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PHILOS 2B03 Intro Logic

Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2015

Term: 1

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. James Connelly

Email: NULL

Office: University Hall 301

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23463

Office Hours: TBA

Course Objectives:

This introduction to formal logic is intended to provide students with the tools for appraising the validity of deductive arguments, and will thus cover the rudiments of both sentential logic (dealing with arguments whose validity depends on the logical relations between whole sentences) and predicate logic (dealing with arguments whose validity depends on the internal structure of the statements involved).  Emphasis will be placed upon symbolizing natural language arguments, understanding semantics and interpretation, and conducting logical derivations. 


Students will acquire an ability to symbolize a variety of English sentences in both Sentential Logic (SL) and Predicate Logic (PL) with identity.


Students will acquire an ability to employ truth-tables in order to evaluate SL sentences and arguments in terms of important logical properties such as Truth-Functional Truth, Truth-Functional Falsity, Truth-Functional Equivalence, Truth-Functional Entailment, and Truth-Functional Validity.


Students will acquire an ability to use semantic interpretations in order to evaluate sentences and arguments of PL in terms of logical properties such as Quantificational Truth, Quantificational Falsity, Quantificational Equivalence, Quantificational Entailment and Quantificational Validity.


Students will acquire an ability to deploy a set of syntactic derivation rules in order to evaluate arguments and sentences within the systems SD (Sentential Derivation) and PD (Predicate Derivation) relative to important logical concepts such as Equivalence, Derivability, and Validity. Students will learn how to determine whether and prove that a sentence is a Theorem of SD or PD.


Students will acquire a core set of set tools, techniques and concepts within deductive logic, which can be deployed in order to evaluate claims and arguments in a variety of academic, vocational, philosophical, mathematical, and everyday contexts.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Bergman, Merrie et al.  2014. The Logic Book, 6th edition. Boston, Massachusetts: McGraw Hill

Method of Assessment:

Quizzes/ Participation (in class weekly)………..20%

Assignment #1 (due in class May 14th)………....15%

Assignment #2 (due in class May 26th) ………....15%

Assignment #3 (due in class June 4th)…………...20%

Final Exam (in the exam period)………………...30%

Quizzes/ Participation:

Students will be expected to attend class regularly and contribute to class discussion.  In class, we will work through exercises and cover key concepts, which will be either identical or very similar to those which students will be required to complete or explicate on the assignments and exam.  Weekly quizzes will be held in class in order to document attendance as well as level of attention in class.  Though we will go over the answers to quiz questions in class, the quizzes themselves will not be returned to students, but rather kept by the instructor and used at the end of the course, in consort with observations of in class student performance, to assign a grade /20 for class participation. 


In assigning this grade, premium will be placed upon regularity of attendance, quality of contribution to in-class discussion, and regular completion of quizzes.  In terms specifically of contributions to in-class discussion, quality will be emphasized over quantity.  In other words, I will not punish people for being introverted, or reward them for being extroverted.  On the other hand, in terms of the quizzes, quantity will be emphasized over quality.  What is most important is thus that you give your best effort and complete the in-class quiz, not that you have at that point mastered the material being quizzed.  Mastery of the skills and concepts being quizzed will ultimately be gauged instead on the basis of your completed assignments and exam.


Over the course of the term, you can track your quiz grades by consulting an excel file named 'Quiz Grades' which will be posted on the Avenue to Learn course website.  You should expect to see a series of 1's beside your student number corresponding to each satisfactory quiz which you have handed in. (note: due to a glitch in excel the '0' at the front of your student # will be missing). By the end of term, if you add up the 1's beside your number you will obtain a score out of 10 which correlates to a range for a participation grade, as follows:

Completed Quizzes (/10) Participation Grade (/20)

                               10                               17-20
                               9                                 16-18
                               8                                 15-16
                               7                                 14-15
                               6                                 12-13
                               5                                 10-11


The other factors which will determine precisely where you will fit into this range are specified above.


All three assignments will consist of a set of exercises either directly from your textbook, or closely resembling those in your textbook.  Such exercises will require you, for example, to symbolize a sentence or argument in SL or PL; or to use a truth table in order to evaluate a sentence or argument; or to complete a derivation which proves some important logical property of sentences or arguments, such as equivalence or derivability. 


Final Exam:

The final exam for this course will be semi-cumulative.  It will touch on each of the various topics we cover in class, however it will be more heavily weighted towards the material at the end, concerning predicate logic, and especially predicate logic derivations.  Final exam questions will be either very similar to or taken directly from your textbook.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Tentative Schedule:

            May 5th            Logic: Some Basic Notions (pp 1-24)


            May 7th            Sentential Logic: Symbolization and Syntax (pp 28-68)


            May 12th            Sentential Logic: Semantics (pp 69-109)


            May 14th          Sentential Logic: Derivations I (pp 146-178)


            May 19th          Sentential Logic: Derivations II (Strategy and SD+) (pp 179-225)


            May 21st          Predicate Logic:  Symbolization and Syntax (pp 262-309)


            May 26th          PL Symbolization and Syntax continued


            May 28th          Predicate Logic: Semantics (pp 329-380)


            June 2nd           PL Semantics continued


            June 4th            Predicate Logic: Derivations I (pp 474-492)


            June 9th            Predicate Logic: Derivations II (pp 493-520)


            June 11th          Predicate Logic: The Identity Predicate (pp 310-316)


            June 16th          Review


           June 18th          Final Exam

Other Course Information:

This course will use Avenue to Learn to post power point slides, assignments, grades, regular course announcements, and additional resources.