intermediate symbolic logic

course description

Logic is the science of correct reasoning.  Instead of assessing each argument on a case-by-case basis, logicians try to generalize about good and bad forms of reasoning.  However, most arguments occur in everyday language in informal contexts, full of vagueness and ambiguity.  For this reason, logicians have developed formal symbolic systems of reasoning which attempt to remove these forms of unclarity and render reasoning more precise. 

The primary goal of this course is to train you to use one of these formal symbolic systems, predicate logic.  (We will begin with a brief review of propositional logic, but students should already have a firm grounding in some form of propositional logic for the course.)  We will practice translating informal English sentences into symbolic notation and study formal techniques of reasoning to determine what conclusions logically follow from a set of premises, and whether given arguments are valid or invalid.  Because our emphasis is on predicate logic, we will spend a great deal of time practicing translations and proofs that involve quantifiers and relations.  We will also touch on metatheory at the end of the course, demonstrating how to establish important properties possessed by different systems of logic.