Howard University College of Arts and Sciences
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Symbolic Logics

Phil 175

Dr. Cara Spencer

This course is an introduction to first order predicate logic. It is intended to provide a basis for philosophy majors and minors to best appreciate other upper level and seminar courses in philosophy. This class is also particularly recommended for students planning to attend law school or graduate school.

This course introduces students to the technical notions of validity, soundness, logical truth and falsehood, consistency and inconsistency as they apply to natural language sentences and arguments. Students will learn the syntax and semantics of the language of first order predicate logic, and will use truth tables and other simple models to study the semantic properties of sentences of this language. Students will also use a natural deduction system to study its syntactic properties. Some applications to the semantics and pragmatics of natural languages will also be considered. Students will work from Barwise and Etchemendy Language, Proof, and Logic, which contains a software package that will be used frequently for homework assignments. There will be two midterm exams, a cumulative final exam, and weekly problem sets.

II. Required Text

1. Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy, Language, Proof, and Logic, CSLI Publications, distributed by University of Chicago Press. (list price: $65.00)

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