Philosophy 341: Symbolic Logic I

Section 501, Fall 2010: MWF 9:10-10:00 in PETR 113


Who Name/Email Office Office Telephone Office hours
Instructor Robin Smith <> Bolton 214A 979-845-5679 TR 9:00-10:30 and by appointment

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 Fridays
Week 1 8/30 §1.1-1.2 9/1 §1.3-1.4 9/3 §1.5-1.7
Week 2 9/6 §2.1-2.3 9/8 §2.4 9/10 §2.4
Week 3 9/13 §3.1-3.2 9/15 §3.3-3.4 9/17/ §3.5-3.6
Week 4 9/20 §4.1-4.3 9/22 §4.4-4.5 9/24 §4.6-4.7
Week 5 9/27 §5.1 9/29 §5.2 10/1 §5.2-5.3
Week 6 10/4 §5.2-5.3 10/6 §5.4 10/8 §5.5
Week 7 10/11 §5.5 10/13 Review for Exam 1 (and here are a few derivations 10/15 Exam 1
Week 8 10/18 §7.1-7.2 10/20 §7.3 10/22 §7.4-7.5
Week 9 10/25 §7.5-7.6 10/27 §7.7 10/29 §7.8
Week 10 11/1 §8.1-8.2 11/3 §8.3-8.4 11/5 §8.5
Week 11 11/8 §8.7 11/10 §9.1 11/12 §9.2
Week 12 11/15 §9.3 11/17 §10.1 11/19 §10.2
Week 13 11/22 §10.3 11/24 §10.4 11/26 THANKSGIVING BREAK
Week 14 11/29 §10.4 12/1 Review 12/3 Exam 2
Week 15 12/6
Redefined day: Thursday classes
Redefined day:Friday Classes
12/8 Reading day:
No classes
FINAL 12/13 FINAL EXAM 8:00-10:00

Text (required)

Merrie Bergman, James Moor, and , The Logic Book, 5th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2009)
(ISBN 007353563x) There is a solutions manual for this text online.

Basis for Grades

Grade Calculation

Exam Date Portion of grade
Exam 1 (sentential logic) Oct. 15 30%
Exam 2 (predicate logic) Dec. 3 30%
Ten weekly quizzes Announced in class 20% (2% each)
Comprehensive Final Dec. 13, 8:00-10:00 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.


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.
  3. If you need help, ask for it. Immediately.

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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