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PHIL2002 Logic: How to Defeat Your Foes with Reasoning

6 points
(see Summer Timetable)
Summer teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Philosophy; Philosophy, Politics and Economics major sequences
  • Level 2 elective
Logic is the study of what follows from what. Understanding formal logic is therefore valuable for anyone wishing to construct persuasive arguments or evaluate the reasoning of others. This unit introduces students to powerful techniques for translating natural language arguments into formal logic and for testing those arguments for validity. As well as its general use in evaluating arguments, a knowledge of formal logic is essential to understanding a great deal of important twentieth-century philosophy.
Students are able to (1) locate philosophical ideas in their historical context; (2) evaluate philosophical positions, including identifying counter-examples and identifying and questioning their basic assumptions; (3) compare and contrast philosophical positions; (4) construct persuasive arguments; (5) understand the basic syntactic and semantic structure of propositional logic through to first-order predicate logic with identity; (6) translate natural language arguments into propositional logic and first-order predicate logic with identity; (7) construct truth tables in propositional logic and use them to test the validity of an argument; (8) gain a basic understanding of model theory and its set theoretic foundations; (9) understand the algebraic foundations of propositional and predicate logic; (10) construct truth-functional connectives outside of the standard connectives used in propositional and predicate logic; and (11) consider possible extensions of first-order predicate logic with identity in order to enrich the expressive power of the language.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) problem set(s); and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Chris Letheby
Unit rules
24 points of Level 1 units
PHIL2205 Introduction to Logic
Approved quota: 700—first-come, first-served basis
Contact hours
Semester 2—lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week (for 10 weeks from week 2)

Smith, N. J. Logic: the Laws of Truth: Princeton University Press 2012

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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.