Catalog Course Description
''A survey of traditional logic. Classical and contemporary logic are considered with special emphasis upon reasoning and argumentation. Attention is given to the nature of language and its relation to philosophical problems. Three semester hours.'' From the Lander University Catalog 2009-2010.
No textbook is required for this course. Tutorials, lecture notes, and sample quizzes and tests, homework exercises, and answers to sample tests, quizzes, and homework are provided online at
Lecture notes can be printed out by the student at a fraction of the cost of a current textbook.
Purpose of the Course
The general goal is to learn how to distinguish acceptable arguments from poor ones. The approach is two-sided: (1) the analysis and classification of fallacies and (2) the analysis and construction of valid arguments.
The general aims of this introductory survey of logic are
- to gain an appreciation for the complexity of language,
- to learn effective methods of resolution for a variety of disagreements,
- to obtain the ability to define terms,
- to understand the structure of different kinds of arguments,
- to recognize and evaluate the different kinds of arguments,
- to grasp the features of traditional logic,
- to sketch the principles of symbolic logic,
- to obtain facility in symbolic manipulations,
- to develop the ability to think critically, and
- to realize that the proper use of logic is a reasonable way to solve problems.
The methods used to obtain these ends are
- to solve selected problems which illustrate basic logical principles,
- to read carefully and critically the online notes and sample tests,
- to ask questions and discuss problems in class,
- to work selected logic exercises,
- to test your understanding by means of special examinations, and
- to question critically several interpretations of introductory logic.
Specific Skills Achieved
Upon completion of this course, all students should be able to
- demonstrate basic skills of Internet browsing,
- explain the difference between an argument and a disagreement,
- identify premisses and conclusions in complex arguments,
- explain the difference between deduction and induction,
- analyze the interrelation between arguments and explanations,
- understand the differences among truth, validity, and soundness,
- identify the differences between factual significance and emotive significance,
- list major uses of language,
- identify and explain the common fallacies which occur in everyday discourse,
- be aware of common methods of persuasion and propaganda,
- evaluate one premiss deductive inferences,
- refute arguments by devising logical analogies,
- evaluate two premiss deductive inferences, and
- diagram and evaluate complex arguments.
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 in the evaluation of argumentative discourse.
General Education Competency
Primary: Acquire critical thinking skills.
Secondary: Acquire skill in communicating clearly.
Evaluation: By quizzes, tests, and homework exercises.