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Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic
Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. What is the purpose of this course?
  2. What kinds of things are studied?
  3. Is Introduction to Philosophy a prerequisite for this course? Does this course fulfill any University requirements?  I've been trying to register for this course since my freshmen year.  Why don't you offer more sections of Logic? 
  4. My advisor says this course does not fulfill the Humanities General Elective Requirement.  Why not? It's a philosophy course.
  5. Why don't you allow make-ups for missed quizzes? Why don't I get credit if I leave class early on the day of a quiz?
  6. How do I take a Make-Up exam?
  7. Where do you post grades? How can I find out what I made in this course? What if I lose my password?
  8. How to I get extra-credit in this course?
  9. Are all of these questions really "Frequently Asked Questions"?

The course is a survey of traditional logic, including classical and contemporary logic.  Special emphasis is given to the structure of arguments, the nature of language, and the logic of reasoning.  The specific aims of this introductory survey of logic are
[1] to gain an appreciation for the complexity of language,
2] to learn effective methods of resolution for a variety of disagreements,
[3] to obtain the ability to define terms,
[4] to understand the structure of different kinds of arguments,
[5] to recognize and evaluate different kinds of arguments,
[6] to grasp the features of traditional logic,
[7] to sketch some principles of symbolic logic,
[8] to obtain some facility in symbolic manipulations,
[9] to develop the ability to think critically, and
[10] to realize that the proper use of logic is a reasonable way to solve problems.

The Lander University Catalog description of Introduction to Logic is given in the Philosophy Course Listing .


Philosophy 103: Introduction to logic has the following goals:

[1] to solve selected problems which illustrate basic logical principles,
[2] to read carefully and critically the text and some papers on logic,
[3] to write analytically about  logical theory,
[4] to test your understanding by means of special tests and projects, and
[5] to question critically several interpretations of introductory logic.

In this course you will learn the difference between an argument and an explanation, the difference between deduction and induction, and the differences among truth, validity, and soundness in argumentation. You will learn effective methods of analysis and criticism as well as learn the basis of the construction of arguments.


Introduction to Logic has no prerequisite.  This course complements Philosophy 102: Introduction to Philosophy but you need not have taken that course to do well in the Introduction to Logic course. They are entirely independent courses.

Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic meets the Logical and Analytical Thought elective for many majors.

 

Your advisor is correct--Philosophy 103:  Introduction to Logic does not meet the Humanities General elective requirement. 

This logic course is sometimes confused with Philosophy 102: Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry, which does meet the Humanities elective requirement. 

Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic does, however,  meet the Logical and Analytical Thought elective for many majors.


My philosophy courses have an average of 15 quizzes and tests for an average of 110 students each semester. In other words, there are about 1,870 papers to be graded.  If the normal excused absence rate is 8%, then 150 make-up quizzes and tests would have to be scheduled during the semester.  Assuming each make-up takes 1/2 hour to proctor (not counting the time to prepare a different test or quiz), almost two-weeks work would be needed just to proctor make-up quizzes.  For these reasons, extra quizzes are given, and a minimum of two quizzes can be safely dropped with other quiz grades substituted. In other words, the additional quizzes are given to account for make-up purposes.

The purpose of  quizzes is to help the student learn the subjects in advance of the tests in order to reduce anxiety, cramming, and poor grades. Unfortunately in the past, some students have come to take the quiz and then leave before the end of class.  I find students leaving in the middle of a class disruptive to the learning environment of the class as a whole and distracting to me personally; for this reason, no credit for that day's quiz is given to any student leaving class early.

Students who do not read the syllabus or this FAQ sometimes believe this policy to be unfair. The only consolation I can offer is for extra quizzes to be offered during the semester which may be substituted for a missed or no credit quiz.

In sum, without the extra quizzes and the drop policy, it is impractical to offer so many graded assignments.  Most students understand the pedagogic reasons for the quizzes and, and in light of that, enthusiastically support the policy.  See the syllabus for more policy information.


Unfortunately, the department does not have space available for offering make-up tests and quizzes. No tests or quizzes can be made-up during the regular semester in this course, even though students have good reasons for missing class.  Thus, tests cannot be made-up during the regular semester for any reason.  If you miss one or more regularly scheduled tests during the semester because of an emergency situation, your grade for that test or tests is established by the grade achieved on a make-up test given at the time of the final examination, if you have provided your instructor a written excuse.  For example, if you were so unfortunate to miss the first test on “Logic and Language,” your grade on that test would be established by your grade achieved on the make up test dealing with “Logic and Language.”

See the syllabus for more policy information.


The confidentiality of student grades is a serious concern.  Legal considerations involving the privacy rights of individuals prevent the posting of grades.  Other than waiting for your grade report from Lander, there are several other methods to obtain your grades at the end of the semester. For personal and legal reasons, I do not post grades, I do not report grades over the telephone, and I do not send grades unencrypted in email. Passwords are not sent through e-mail because of security concerns of student confidentiality.

(1) Prior to the end of the semester, submit a self-addressed-stamped envelope to the instructor.  Your final test grade, course average, and grade for the course will be mailed to you at the completion of the semester's grading.

(2) Visit the instructor's office no sooner than 48 hours after the final exam.  Office hours during the week of final exams will be posted.  Please note:  Normal office hours during the week of final exams are not observed since final exams are not  scheduled at the same time as the regular class period.

(3) With your assigned username and password, you may access your grades online as soon as I can post final grades and averages on the Introduction to Logic site.


14. How to I get extra-credit in this course?

Extra credit is not offered in this class as a make-up for course topics and subjects for two main reasons. First, any extra or ``replacement'' work is less important than the required work, and second, more important, extra credit is not an adequate substitute for learning basic ideas of the course. In my opinion, the offering of extra credit often conflicts with the legal and ethical requirements of equal opportunity since all persons have the right to the same class policies.

At the same time, occasionally extra-credit problems are offered in class and on tests for questions requiring some extra thought or effort.


15. Are all of these questions really "Frequently Asked Questions"?

No, not really. Some of the questions are anticipations of questions persons might ask; others might be questions of little interest..


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