Fall 2018 - PHIL 110 D100

Introduction to Logic and Reasoning (3)

Class Number: 2715

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    AQ 3181, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2018
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Location: TBA



The aim of this course is to familiarize students with fundamental techniques of correct reasoning. Special attention is given to the methods of logic in particular, and to their role in the discovery of truth not only within science and philosophy but within all forms of rational enquiry. Open to all students. Quantitative.


“Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.”   Ludwig Wittgenstein

We all know how to reason, and we usually do it quite well.  But most of us could benefit from some careful reflection on what follows from what.  That is, when do the premises of an argument logically imply the conclusion of that argument?  To investigate this, we will be looking at the formal features of arguments when represented in the symbols of an appropriate “language”, and at the rules for the manipulation of those symbols to result in valid arguments.  I put “language” in scare quotes because learning logical notation and rules is not like learning a natural language.  There are very few symbols and rules, and they will be introduced slowly and as intuitively as possible.

We will be considering symbolizing and translating in sentential logic and predicate logic, along with proofs in sentential logic.  Since sentential logic is sometimes called “propositional calculus”, let me be clear at the outset.  This is not a math class, and presupposes no aptitude for math.  I don’t mean to imply that the class will be easy—many will find it challenging.  But patience and persistence will be rewarded as you develop the skill to think clearly, rationally, and systematically.  While logic is properly regarded as a branch of philosophy, its range of application extends far beyond the bounds of any single discipline to include the practical matters of everyday life.


PHIL 110 may be applied towards the Certificate in Liberal Arts and the Quantitative Requirement.


  • Homework assignments 10%
  • Lecture participation (based on clicker use) 10%
  • First midterm 20%
  • Second midterm 25%
  • Final Exam 35%




As you may know, i>clickers can be used in different classes.  If you already have one, don’t buy another.  If you don't already have one, buy one knowing that you can use it in other courses, or just borrow one if you can bring it to every lecture and register it.  I>clicker 1 is fine for this course, as I ask only multiple-choice questions.  I>clicker 2 and i>clicker + are also fine, but Web-clicker is not.  Details available early in the term.  Bring your clicker to the very first lecture if you have it, but don’t fret about having one or registering it (until early in Week 2).


Logic and Philosophy: A Modern Introduction12th edition.  Hausman, Tidman, and Kahane.  Nelson Publishing

ISBN: 113305000X (available at the SFU BookStore cheaper than at Amazon!)

The 10th and 11th editions are also acceptable. Also acceptable (if it works for you and you can find one) is an e-copy.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philmgr@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html