PROFESSOR: William Bechtel, 208 Busch Hall, 935-6873, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Office Hours: 2:00-3:00 Thurs. and 1:30-2:30 Wednesday
TEACHING ASSISTANT: Henry Cribbs, 12 Busch (or 8 Busch), 935-6670 (leave message), E-mail: email@example.com, Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 Tues. and Thurs. and by appointment
Logic can be a useful tool both in clarifying ones own thinking and in convincing others. The goal of this course is to acquire skills in logic that will facilitate these ends. Logic is most often put to use in written prose; consequently, much of the course will be devoted to construction of good logical demonstrations in written prose as well as criticisms of arguments of others. Special attention will be given to evaluative arguments, arguments by analogy, the use of authority, and the logic of explanation.
Luckhardt, C. Grant & Bechtel, William (1994). How To Do Things with Logic. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Luckhardt, C. Grant, & Bechtel, William (1994). Exercise Book to Accompany How to do Things with Logic. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
The skills of evaluating and writing good logical discourse are learned by practice. You will need to practice each of the tasks discussed in this course. Thus, there will assignments made for each chapter that should be completed as homework. Homework will be reviewed in class on a regular basis. Twice during the semester homework notebooks will be picked up and spot checked for thoroughness. The two grades on your homework notebooks will together account for 10% of your final grade.
There will be two in-class exams during the semester. Each will count 15% of the final grade.
You will also be required to write four argumentative essays (approximately 600-800 words each). Each essay will count for 15% of your final grade. (These essays must be turned in on time to receive credit.) Since one often learns how to develop written arguments by rewriting in the light of criticism, you are encouraged to rewrite your papers after they have been graded. If these re-writes exhibit significant improvement, a second grade will be awarded which will be averaged with the first grade to determine your final grade on that paper.
Students are required to attend class regularly. Frequent absences may result in a reduction in your final grade.
Reading assignments and homework exercises for each day are shown in parentheses. All assignments are from Luckhardt & Bechtel. Note: This schedule is tentative and subject to change. If classes are canceled for a day (e.g., because of inclement weather), you should complete the assignment for the class that is missed and be prepared for the subsequent class. We will have to cover material assigned for both days on the subsequent day.
January 16: Logic as a Tool (1-10)
January 18: Arguments and their evaluation (11-23)
January 23: Sentential connectives and Immediate Inference (24-37)
January 30: Alternative Syllogisms (47-53)
February 6: Review
February 8: FIRST EXAM
February 13: Argumentative Essay: Audience and Conclusion (61-67)
February 20: Developing Arguments (76-83)
February 27: From Logical Diagrams to Written Prose (93-105)
March 1: Authorities for Factual Events (181-201)
March 12: Authorities for Public Attitudes (201-216)
March 19: Instrumental and Consequence Evaluations (106-119)
March 26: Evaluating evaluative arguments
March 28: Explanations: Finding Causes (217-231)
April 2: Fallacies of Causation and Contributory Causes (231-238)
April 9: Developing Analogies (247-257)
April 16: Preparing to Critique (127-135)
April 23: Critiquing and Defending (156-180)
May 1: FOURTH ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY DUE: Critique or Defense