Philosophy 201, Introductory Logic

Spring 2005

Web page.

Professor Hans Halvorson
E-mail: hhalvors
Phone: 8-1494
Office hour: Monday 3-4pm in Marx Hall, Room 210.

Assistants in Instruction.

_ <email> at princeton Office (1879 Hall) Office Hours
David Gordon dagordon 114 TBA
Jozef Muller jmuller 126 TBA

Prerequisites. None

Textbook. E. J. Lemmon, Beginning Logic

Optional Reading. If you could use some help deciphering Lemmon's text, we suggest obtaining a copy of Paul Tomassi's Logic (which is available from most online bookstores).

Course Description. An "argument" occurs whenever someone attempts to back up a claim by providing evidence. Making, and evaluating, arguments is the defining feature of all intellectual endeavors: we produce arguments in order to try to convince others to adopt beliefs, and when we are being rational, we try to base our beliefs on evidence. But can we say something about what makes an argument good? Is there an objective, identifiable difference between good and bad arguments? This course supplies an affirmative answer to those questions.

In this course, we focus on deductive arguments -- where the premises of the argument are supposed to "entail" its conclusion. We will show that a vast range of intuitively valid arguments are reducible to a few fundamental laws of logic. We will construct a system out of these basic logical laws, and we will use this system to explore the scope of logical reasoning.

Course Objectives. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

Lectures. Tues & Thurs, 9:00-9:50am in McCosh Hall, Room 46.

Precepts. Precepts meet one hour per week, beginning the second week of classes. Precept cards will be filled out during the first lecture, and assignments will be posted by Thursday, Feb 3 on the bulletin board in the Philosophy Department (1879 Hall) and on the course website. If your original precept assignment turns out to be a severe hardship, you can request a change into a different section by sending e-mail to the Keeper of the Precept List (David Gordon: dagordon). If you drop the course, please notify the Keeper so that he can delete your name from the precept list. If you are waiting for a reply concerning a requested precept change, then you should attend your originally assigned precept -- unless this precept conflicts with the lecture for another course, in which case you may attend the precept you have requested to enter. If you are still unsure of your precept assignment at the time the first homework assignment is due, you should submit your assignment (with an accompanying note) to the Professor.

Requirements and Grades. No P/D/F option.

Academic Integrity. In-class examinations are closed-book, closed-notes, and your behavior is to be governed by the honor code. Regarding homework assignments, we encourage preliminary discussions and brainstorming among students. However, in no case should a student submit a solution to a problem that does not largely represent her/his own work. If in doubt about the status of a collaborative effort, please discuss the case with your preceptor.

Disability Information. If you have a disability, you should notify the Professor and the appropriate administrative offices at the beginning of the semester so that we can make accommodations for you.

Grievance Procedures are described in Princeton's Rights, Rules, Responsibilities handbook.