Course Information


PL 320-01 | Spring, 2023

Tues Thurs 10:50-12:05am | Room: HU 050M

Dr. Jeffrey C. Witt | jcwitt [at] loyola [dot] edu | ext. 2947

College Center W010 Lecture

Office Hours: Tues, Wed, Thurs 1:00pm-3:00pm

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the basic components of logical arguments and then introduce students to the various systems of logic designed to formally analyze such arguments. Particular attention will be given to Categorical Logic, Propositional Logic, and Predicate Logic.

Required Texts

Hurly, Patrick, A Concise Introduction to Logic 13th Edition (Cengage Learning: Stamford, CT, 20XX)

Course Requirements

Homework Problem Sets (10%)

This is a skills course designed, not only to introduce you to various formal systems of logic, but also to help you develop corresponding "habits" of mind. Such habits, just like in music, sport, or language acquisition, cannot be acquired with frequent and repetitive practice. Thus the main homework for this course are problems sets, and we will have assigned problems sets for nearly every class. A detailed problem set schedule has been posted on moodle. There are two parts to each problem set. One part indicates problems that you should complete, but do not need to turn. A second, smaller set, lists problems that you should complete and turn in via moodle.

Turned in problems will be graded on "check" (8), "check plus" (9), "check plus plus" (10) system. A "check" (8) represents a floor. If you've done your best and made a sincere attempt on the homework, you'll get a check. If you've got nearly everything correct but missed one or two problems, you'll get a "check plus" (9), and if there are no errors you'll get a (10). As such, the incentive to not do your own work is very low. Copying an answer from the internet or a friend provides you with only a marginal benefit, while robbing you have the knowledge required to do well on the much more important exams. At the same time, since the turn-in homework problems are generally the more difficult problems, the small bump from getting a 9 or 10 should incentivize you to faithfully and regularly do the non turn-in homework problems.

In short, the exams presume that you've done all the homework problems, so there is little incentive to finding a short-cut only to get 100% on homework, since doing poorly on exams is much more damaging. At the same time, the small bump should incentive you to do the homework well (and therefore enable you to do well on exams) since a strong homework grade can help push your final grade up or down.

There are approximately 20 homework opportunities. Since I know everyone has busy weeks, I'll drop your three lowest homework scores.

Reading Analysis (5%)

During our course we will have two "reading" analysis where will look at arguments and/or articles in the "wild" and use techniques we are learning to identify the structure of the argument and examine its strengths and weaknesses.

Exams (85%)

Exam 1 (28.3%)

Exam 2 (28.3%)

Exam 3 (28.3%)

Final Grade Distribution

93% A, 90% A-, 88% B+, 83% B, 80 B-, 78% C+, 73% C, 70% C-, 68% D+, 65% D

Honor Code and Plagiarism

Students are expected to follow the university's honor code:

"The Honor Code states that all students of the Loyola Community have been equally entrusted by their peers to conduct themselves honestly on all academic assignments. The Students of this University understand that having collective and individual responsibility for the ethical welfare of their peers exemplifies a commitment to the community. Students who submit materials that are the products of their own minds demonstrate respect for themselves and the community in which they study. All outside resources or information should be clearly acknowledged. If there is any doubt or question regarding the use and documentation of outside sources for academic assignments, your instructor should be consulted. Any violations of the Honor Code will be handled by the Honor Council."

See the honor code for further information.

Computer, Cell Phones and Email Policy

I ask you not (unless otherwise instructed) to use your computers or cell phones in this class. They are almost always a distraction: if not to you, then to me and to others. (If there is a special reason that you need a computer please let me know, and we can most likely work something out.) Students using cell phones in any capacity will find their participation grade negatively affected. If you find this policy frustrating, then I encourage you to watch the Frontline documentary: Digital Nation viewpage&utm_medium=grid&utm_source=grid.

Course Schedule

Introduction (Hurley 1)

Week 1

Tues Jan 17 - Hurley 1.1-1.3

Thurs Jan 19 - Homework Due: Hurley 1.1-1.3 New Material: Hurley 1.4-1.6

Unit 1 - Categorical Logic (Hurley 4-5)

Week 2

Tues Jan 24 - Homework Due: Hurley 1.4-1.6 New Material: Hurley 4.1-4.2

Thur Jan 26 - Homework Due: Hurley 4.1-4.2 New Material: Hurley 4.3-4.4

Week 3

Tues Jan 31 - Homework Due: Hurley 4.3-4.4 New Material: Hurley 4.5-4.6

Thurs Feb 02 - Homework Due: Hurley 4.5-4.6 New Material: Hurley 4.7-5.1

Week 4

Tues Feb 07 - Homework Due: Hurley 4.7-5.1 New Material: Hurley 5.2-5.3

Thurs Feb 09 - Homework Due: Hurley 5.2-5.3 New Material: Hurley 5.4-5.5

Week 5

Tues Feb 14 - Homework Due: Hurley 5.4-5.5 New Material: Hurley 5.6-5.7

Thurs Feb 16 - Homework Due: Passage Analysis New Material: Review Session

Week 6

Tues Feb 21 - Exam 1 (Hurley 1, 4-5)

Unit 2 - Propositional Logic (6-7)

Thurs Feb 23 - New Material: Hurley 6.1-6.3

Week 7

Tues Feb 28 - Homework Due: Hurley 6.1-6.3 New Material: Hurley 6.4-6.5

Thurs Mar 2 - Homework Due: Hurley 6.4-6.5 New Material: Hurley 6.6

Week 8

Tues Mar 07 - Spring Break

Wed Mar 09 - Spring Break

Week 9

Tues Mar 14 - Homework Due: Hurley 6.6 New Material: Hurley 7.1-7.2

Thur Mar 16 - Homework Due: Hurley 7.1-7.2 New Material: Hurley 7.3 (Rules of Replacement)

Week 10

Tues Mar 21 - Homework Due: Hurley 7.3 New Material: Hurley 7.4 (Rules of Replacement)

Thur Mar 23 - Homework Due: Hurley 7.4 New Material: Hurley 7.5-7.7 (Conditional and Indirect Proof)

Week 11

Tues Mar 28 - Homework Due: Hurley 7.5-7.7 Exam 2 Review

Thur Mar 30 - Exam 2 (Hurley 6-7)

Unit 3 - Predicate Logic (8)

Week 12

Tues Apr 4 - New Material: Hurley 8.1-8.2

Thur Apr 06 - Easter Break

Week 13

Tues Apr 11 - Homework Due: Hurley 8.1-8.2 New Material: Hurley 8.3-8.4 (Quantifier Negation Rule and Conitional/Indirect Proofs)

Thur Apr 13 - Homework Due: Hurley 8.3-8.4 New Material: Hurley 8.5 (Proving Invalidity)

Week 14

Tues Apr 18 - Homework Due: Hurley 8.5 New Material: Hurley 8.6 (Relational Predicates)

Thur Apr 20 - Homework Due: Hurley 8.6 New Material: Hurley 8.7

Week 15

Tues Apr 25 - Homework Due: Hurley 8.7 New Material: Passage Analysis, Fake News and the Limits of Free Speech

Thur Apr 27 - Homework Due: Passage Analysis New Material: Unit 3 Review (Passage Analysis 3 Due)

Thurs May 4 - Final Exam 3 (Hurley 8)