Philosophy 240: Introduction to Logic


Sections 501-509, Fall 2010: MW 11:30-12:20 (Zachry 102) and Th/F by section in Bolton 019


Who Name/Email Office Office Telephone Office hours
Instructor Robin Smith <> Bolton 214A 979-845-5679 TR 9:00-10:30 and by appointment
Teaching Assistant Judith Bohr <> Bolton 311 Thu 9:30-11, Fri 3:00-4:30
Teaching Assistant Zachary Bachman <> Bolton TW 1:30-3:00
Teaching Assistant Margaret Schmitt <> Bolton 311 979- TW 9:30-11:00
SI Leader Mark Womack <>      

Lab Sections and Section Leaders (labs meet in Bolton 019)

The assignments of GATs to lab sections will be finalized before the beginning of the semester.

Section and Time Leader Section and Time Leader Section and Time Leader
501 Fri 8:00-8:50 Schmitt 504 Fri 12:40-1:30 Bachman 507 Thu 8:00-8:50 Schmitt
502 Fri 9:10-10:00 Bachman 505 Fri 1:50-2:40 Bohr 508 Thu 9:35-10:25 Schmitt
503 Fri 11:30-12:20 Bohr 506 Fri 10:20-11:10 Bachmann 509 Thu 11:10-12:00 Bohr

Lecture and Exam Schedule

If circumstances require postponing the date of any exam, this will be announced both in class and on this web site at least 7 days in advance. After each exam, a link will be activated in the schedule below to a key for that exam. Other information will also be added from time to time. Please check this syllabus at least once a week for these and other changes.

Mondays Wednesdays
Week 1 8/30 Syllabus/§1.1 9/1 §1.1/§1.2 (and here's a guide for §1.2)
Week 2 9/6 §1.2/ §1.3; Translating; parentheses 9/8 §1.3 (a note about if and only if and if and only if)
Week 3 9/13 §1.4, (About proofs: basics) 9/15 §1.4, (Notes)
Week 4 9/20 §1.5: derived rules (Here's a compact rules list) 9/22 §1.6: Theorems
Week 5 9/27 §2.1: Truth tables 9/29 §2.1, §2.2
Week 6 10/4 §2.3 10/6 §2.4
Week 7 10/11 Review 10/13 Exam 1 (More about this year's exams and some past exams)
Week 8 10/18 §3.1: Names, predicates, and predications 10/20 §3.2 Quantifiers
Week 9 10/25 §3.2: More Complex Quantifications 10/27 §3.2: Awesomely Complex Quantifications
Week 10 11/1 §3.3: Predicate logic proofs 11/3 §3.3
Week 11 11/8 §3.4 11/10 §4.1: Models
Week 12 11/15 §4.1: Models 11/17 §4.2
Week 13 11/22 §4.2 11/24 §4.2
Week 14 11/29 Exam 2 (More about this year's exams and some past exams(LINK UPDATED: refresh
this page to be sure you're getting the updated version of the 2009 exam key)
12/1 Review
Week 15 12/7
Redefined day: Friday sections
Redefined day:Thursday sections
12/7 Reading day:
No classes
FINAL 12/15 FINAL EXAM 10:30-12:30 (Old Exams and exam keys)

Supplemental Instruction

Mark Womack is the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader for this course. SI session meeting times for ths semester are:

Text (required)

Colin Allen & Michael Hand, The Logic Primer, 2nd edition (MIT Press, 2001)

Basis for Grades

Grade Calculation

Exam Date Portion of grade
Exam 1 (sentential logic) Oct. 13 30%
Exam 2 (predicate logic) Nov. 29 30%
Ten weekly quizzes Announced in lab sessions 20% (2% each)
Comprehensive Final Dec. 15, 10:30-12:30 30%
Total 110%

Weekly quizzes will be given in lab sections without prior announcement. There may be a quiz in any given week (in other words, you should always be prepared for one).

Grading Scale

On examinations, A = 90% or better, B = 80% or better, C = 70% or better, D = 60% or better, F = less than 60%. On quizzes, 2 points = perfect or nearly perfect, 1 point = satisfactory, 0 points = unsatisfactory. The maximum total of all exams and quizzes is 110%; that's because you can earn up to 10% extra credit if you do very well on the quizzes.

Online Gradebook

There is an online gradebook for this course. You will need to register a password first.

Online Support

The Logic Machine includes several automated resources specifically designed for this course's text, including (but not limited to):

None of these resources ever sleep.


After taking this course, you should:

In addition to these specific objectives, this course should help you understand and analyze complex arguments and reasoning. That ability is useful preparation for many careers and for standardized tests such as the GRE, the LSAT, and the GMAT.

There are no prerequisites for the course. It satisfies a core-curriculum quantitative reasoning requirement for many students.

What This Course Is About

This class introduces students to formal techniques for evaluating arguments. These are the principles that underlie all sound reasoning as well as the design of all contemporary computer systems.

We cover a natural deduction system of sentential logic, truth-tables, a natural deduction system of first-order predicate logic, and the basic ideas of model theory. Exams are designed to test skill with the formal systems, particularly translation from English to formulas, proof techniques, and methods for showing invalidity. The skills that you will learn with these specific methods are not merely ends in themselves but also tools to help you understand what it really means to reason logically.

Attendance Policies

Class attendance is not part of the grading basis for this course. That means both that you do not lose points for not attending class and that you do not get points just for attending class. If you can learn the material without coming to class, more power to you. However, you should be aware that:

Makeup exams and quizzes will be provided for students who have missed them because of University-approved absences only. See Student Rules, Section 7 for the University's policy on attendance and for the definition of "University-approved absence".

How to Do Well in This Course

Learning logic is like learning a foreign language or learning mathematics: it involves learning how to do something, not just learning facts, and what you learn is cumulative. Here are three keys to success in this course:

  1. Keep up. Do the readings and exercises as they are assigned in the schedule. The material in this course is not friendly to last-minute cramming. Don't let yourself get behind.
  2. Practice. Lots. To succeed in this course, you have to learn how to do things, not merely learn some facts. That takes practice, repetition, doing the same thing over and over, repetition, practice, doing lots of exercises, practice, and doing things over and over. You have to practice. Repetition is essential. It gets easier if you do it many times. Do lots of exercises. One valuable source of help here is our online support for this course, which never sleeps, is always ready to help you practice, and will give you instant feedback on how you're doing.
  3. If you need help, ask for it. Immediately. There are several sources of help built into this course. Your discussion sections are intended to be times when you can ask questions about what you don't understand. Your section leader has office hours available for you. There is a Supplemental Instruction leader for this course and three SI sessions per week. We have online help. However, these are only going to be useful to you if you ask.

Academic Integrity Statement

The Aggie Honor Code:

"An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do."

Effective September 1, 2004, Texas A&M University has an Honor Code that defines campus policy on academic integrity and academic misconduct. The Aggie Honor System is charged with the enforcement of this Code. Students should be aware that the Aggie Honor System has the power to impose punishments for academic misconduct. For information on the Aggie Honor System, see; information of particular concern to students, including definitions of types of academic misconduct, may be found at

It will be my policy in this course to include the following statement on all examinations and request students to sign it:

 "On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work."


Signature of student 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy 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 the Office of Support Services for Students with Disabilities in Cain Hall, Room B118. The phone number is 845-1637.

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