Introduction to Philosophy: Logic and Reasoning - PL310

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury
(version 2)
Spring
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5) DR DN Corfield

Pre-requisites

None

Restrictions

None

2018-19

Overview

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.

Details

This module appears in:


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Examination (3 hours) – 100%

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)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 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;
8.2 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;
8.3 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;
8.4 Demonstrate the ability to recognise informal fallacies;
8.5 Demonstrate the ability to apply all of the skills they have acquired to analyse longer arguments.

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