PHIL 2049 - Logic, Truth and Reason

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

Two conceptions of the nature of logic have held sway at various times in the history of the subject, all the way back to Aristotle. The first takes logic to be the science of inference, and logic thus gives us what Boole called the `laws of thought?. The second takes logic to be the science of consequence; logic is the study of what follows from what, independently of what or how anyone thinks. This course discusses attempts to decide which of these conceptions is correct, with particular reference to whether classical logic ? the standard logic taught in introductory courses ? is capable of modelling consequence in natural language, or modelling rational thought. To that end, this course will address some of the following questions: is the conditional construction of classical logic an adequate rendering of natural language conditionals? Do various logically puzzling phenomena, particularly as revealed in paradoxes of vagueness or truth (e.g., the Liar, ?this sentence is false?), require a revision to standard logic? Can logic explain or justify rational changes in opinion? Can we capture, formally, the requirement that the assumptions going in to a reasonable argument should be relevant to the conclusion that emerges? Dealing as it does with formal issues in logic, some use of logical symbols is unavoidable. Logic I, or some other first year course with substantial formal content and a component of logic (such as Mathematics I or Computer Science I), are highly recommended. Students without such background may wish to consult the course coordinator as to the suitability of this course for their program of study.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 2049
    Course Logic, Truth and Reason
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites 12 units Level I Arts courses, including PHIL 1110 or PHIL 1101
    Course Description Two conceptions of the nature of logic have held sway at various times in the history of the subject, all the way back to Aristotle. The first takes logic to be the science of inference, and logic thus gives us what Boole called the `laws of thought?. The second takes logic to be the science of consequence; logic is the study of what follows from what, independently of what or how anyone thinks. This course discusses attempts to decide which of these conceptions is correct, with particular reference to whether classical logic ? the standard logic taught in introductory courses ? is capable of modelling consequence in natural language, or modelling rational thought. To that end, this course will address some of the following questions: is the conditional construction of classical logic an adequate rendering of natural language conditionals? Do various logically puzzling phenomena, particularly as revealed in paradoxes of vagueness or truth (e.g., the Liar, ?this sentence is false?), require a revision to standard logic? Can logic explain or justify rational changes in opinion? Can we capture, formally, the requirement that the assumptions going in to a reasonable argument should be relevant to the conclusion that emerges?
    Dealing as it does with formal issues in logic, some use of logical symbols is unavoidable. Logic I, or some other first year course with substantial formal content and a component of logic (such as Mathematics I or Computer Science I), are highly recommended. Students without such background may wish to consult the course coordinator as to the suitability of this course for their program of study.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Antony Eagle

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course aims to:

    1. Introduce students to the main positions on the following issues in the philosophy of logic: consequence and entailment, relevance logic, quantified modal logic, truth and its paradoxes, conditionals, and vagueness.
    2. Help students to develop an understanding of several philosophical theories of logic, as well as some understanding of and facility with a number of different logical formalisms.

    After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:

    1. Display an awareness of the main philosophical positions in contemporary philosophy of logic regarding the issues mentioned above.
    2. Analyse texts from contemporary analytic philosophers on philosophy of logic and extract the relevant arguments from them.
    3. Evaluate an argument by a contemporary analytic philosopher working in the philosophy of logic (as valid, or sound).
    4. Identify and use relevant evidence to provide reasons for and against the adoption of various positions in the philosophical debates over logic.
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    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1–3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4–6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1–6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1–6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1–6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1–6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1–6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All required readings will be available online, linked from MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    A selection of additional resources will be outlined in the syllabus, available from MyUni in July.
    Online Learning
    Lecture notes and recordings will be available via MyUni. There will also be a monitored discussion board hosted on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course meets for two lectures each week. Students are expected to attend lectures or view the lecture recordings hosted on MyUni, as well as review the lecture notes. The focus in lectures is on situating readings in their broader intellectual context and modelling disciplinary approaches to the material.

    The lectures are supported by tutorials, 10 per semester. There is a tutorial task set for each tutorial (usually involving reading and responding to a short passage extending the material covered in lecture). Each tutorial involves a student presentation on the tutorial task.

    Note: There is no tutorial attendance requirement in this course, though students are of course strongly encouraged to make use of tutorials to consolidate and deepen their understanding. The tutorial presentation, while similarly optional, is worth 5% of the final mark.

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    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. The actual hours spent on the course will vary from week to week, and will of course be higher in those weeks immediately prior to the submission of an assignment; please be sure to plan your time carefully.

    Workload ActivityAnticipated Time Required
    2 x 1 hour lecture per week 24 hours
    1 hour tutorial per week 10 hours
    4 hours lecture preparation and revision per week 48 hours
    2 hours tutorial preparation per week (tutorial tasks and reading) 20 hours
    3 hours assessment work (completion of written tasks, essay reading and preparation, essay writing) 54 hours
    Total per semester 156 hours
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    Learning Activities Summary

    A detailed lecture plan will be included in the syllabus, available through MyUni in July. An indicative division of lecture topics is as follows:

    LecturesTheme
    1 Introduction
    2–6 Conditionals
    7–15 Vagueness
    16–24 Truth, Relevance, and Reasoning
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Two lectures will be devoted to small group discovery, in weeks 4 and 8. Details will be available in the syllabus, available through MyUni in July.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment TaskTypeDue DateWeight
    Tutorial Tasks Formative Weekly 0%
    Tutorial Presentation Summative Allocated tutorial 5%
    Essay 1 (1800 words) Summative End of Week 7 40%
    Essay 2 (2500 words) Summative Start of Week 14 55%

    Full details of due dates and submission procedures will be outlined in the syllabus, available from MyUni in July.

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    Assessment Detail

    This course involves both formative and summative assessment. There are weekly tutorial tasks, and two essays.

    Summative assessment consists of two essays and a presentation. The essay details are as follows:

    • Essay 1 is an 1800 word essay on set topics covering the first half of the course. Questions will be made available by the end of week 4.
    • Essay 2 is a 2500 word essay on set topics covering the second half of the course. Questions will be made available by the end of week 9.

    The tutorial presentation will take place in a week mutually agreed by you and your tutor, and is also connected to formative assessment through tutorial tasks. There will be one tutorial task set each week in which there is a tutorial, and made available through MyUni (under ‘Tutorials’). Typically these tasks take the form of an investigation of a topic touched on in lecture; they are designed to extend your knowledge of the course material and of the techniques and topics that are used in the disciplines of formal semantics and philosophy of language. Each week one pair of students will kick start tutorial discussion of these topics by presenting some preliminary ideas and conclusions in the first ten minutes of tutorial. It would be a good idea to prepare a brief handout (no more than 1 side of A4) to anchor your presentation. The joint presentation will be given a mark out of 5 by your tutor. In addition, every student should prepare answers to the set task, and come prepared to discuss them in tutorial. While tutorials are structured around these set tasks, there will also be time for student-driven questions about the lecture material.

    Allocation of students to pairs for the tutorial presentation, and decisions about which pair will present on which topic, will take place at the first tutorial in week 2.

    Submission

    All essays must be submitted electronically through MyUni. In this course, work will be submitted and marked through Turnitin.

    Further details of submission requirements, required format of submitted work, late policies, extensions, &c. will be found in the course syllabus, available through MyUni in July.

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    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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