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Logic Introductions

The philosophy department offers several kinds of logic courses. At its most formal, logic involves studying the general properties of arguments and languages in much the same way as a mathematician studies an abstract system of numbers. At its least formal, logic is the study of arguments and the variety of mistakes people are prone to make in trying to defend their views.

  • Philosophy 180 is a combination of formal and "informal" logic. It is taught in the lecture/discussion format, and uses an online application for homework assignments and exams. The lecture is taught by faculty with discussion sections led by graduate student instructors.
  • Philosophy 201 is an introduction to logic at an elementary level. It is designed both to improve critical reasoning skills and to provide an introduction to formal logic. The course is taught by advanced graduate student instructors in independent sections of 25 students.
  • Philosophy 303 (which counts toward the BS, MSA, QR/1 requirements) is the Department's basic introduction to formal or symbolic logic. It is taught by faculty, in a combination lecture/discussion format.
  • PHIL 305 help us articulate and answer questions in a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy and all its subfields. Over the last century, for example, formal methods have been used to illuminate and sharpen questions about the nature of possibility, probability, and necessity; about the nature of meaning of natural languages; about the relationship between an omniscient God and human freedom; and about the power and limitations of mathematics and computers. This course focuses on methods that are commonly used in contemporary epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.
  • PHIL 413 surveys formal tools used in contemporary philosophy, providing students with an introduction to vocabulary, techniques, and results from formal semantics, propositional modal logic, probability theory, decision theory, and recent literature on conditionals. Each section of the course begins with an introduction to formal material and ends with a contemporary philosophical paper presupposing that material.
  • Philosophy 414 (BS, QR/1) is an advanced course in formal logic. It is taught by faculty and does not divide into sections.

Any of 296, 303, 305, 413, or 414 (but not 180 or 201) satisfy the logic requirement for the major. Logic requirements for the Department's minors may be found under Degree Programs.