PHIL 110: Introduction to Logic and Reasoning

Spring Semester 2013 | Day | Burnaby


INSTRUCTOR: D. Anderson,


John Stuart Mill claimed that there is no academic discipline more suited for the development of clear, systematic thinking than the study of formal logic. I challenge you to disagree with him after taking this introductory course. Our primary focus will be on evaluating the syntactic features of arguments. We will learn how to translate arguments from English into a language consisting of a handful of symbols, and we will then learn how to apply some rules for the manipulation of those symbols in order to determine whether the argument’s conclusion follows from its premises. When you become comfortable analyzing arguments in symbolic notation, you will begin to see its application to all areas of discourse. We will begin by learning two methods (semantic and deductive) for dealing with the logic of arguments composed of simple sentences. Once we are comfortable with these foundational concepts, we will go on to acquire some tools for dealing with statements containing predicates, relations, and quantifiers (words like “all” and “some”). This course will be difficult, but your work will pay off as you develop the skill to think through problems clearly, rationally, and systematically.


  • Gustason, William & Dolph E. Ulrich. 1989. Elementary Symbolic Logic. 2nd ed. Waveland Press, ISBN: 088133412X
  • Additional material may be circulated via email/WebCT


  • Homework - 15%
  • First midterm - 20%
  • Second midterm - 25%
  • Final Exam - 40%

Philosophy 110 has no prerequisites and may be applied towards the Certificate in Liberal Arts, the Q-requirement.