Introduction to Philosophy: Logic and Reasoning - PHIL3100

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Jon Williamson checkmark-circle


Since Plato's Dialogues, it has been part of philosophical enquiry to consider philosophical questions using logic and common sense alone. This module aims to train students to continue in that tradition. In the first part students will be introduced to basic themes in introductory formal logic and critical thinking. In the second part students will be presented with a problem each week in the form of a short argument, question, or philosophical puzzle and will be asked to think about it without consulting the literature. The problem, and students’ responses to it, will then form the basis of a structured discussion. By the end of the module, students (a) will have acquired a basic logical vocabulary and techniques for the evaluation of arguments; (b) will have practised applying these techniques to short passages of philosophical argument; and (c) will have acquired the ability to look at new claims or problems and to apply their newly acquired argumentative and critical skills in order to generate philosophical discussions of them.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Examination (3 hours) – 100%

Reassessment methods:
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Examination

Indicative reading

Indicative reading:

Copi, I., Cohen, C., and McMahon, K., 2014. Introduction to Logic. 14th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
Fisher, A., 2004. The Logic of Real Arguments. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Baggini, J. and Fosl, P., 2003. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods.Oxford: Blackwell.
Hodges, W., 2001. Logic. 2nd ed. London: Penguin.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of five basic logical connectives (their truth tables, their relation to their English counterparts), and an understanding of the concepts of validity, soundness and consistency;
2 Demonstrate the ability to construct a truth-table and to determine the validity of simple arguments by the truth-table method, and to construct simple logical proofs for the same end;
3 Demonstrate mastery of the terminology of 'necessary and sufficient conditions', 'contradiction', and 'tautology', and the ability to translate sentences from English into formal language and vice versa;
4 Demonstrate the ability to recognise informal fallacies;
5 Demonstrate the ability to apply all of the skills they have acquired to analyse longer arguments.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Construct, analyse, criticise and assess logical arguments;
2 Demonstrate their ability to work autonomously and to take responsibility for their learning.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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