WELCOME TO PHILOSOPHY 2!
INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC
SANDRA LA FAVE
People often claim that their conclusions “follow from” their premises; but that claim is not always true. When you have acquired the skills taught in this class, you will be able to confidently assess whether or not, or to what extent, conclusions really are supported by premises. Thus, all tasks and assignments in this class have the same end in view: to enable you to evaluate reasoning, both your own and that of others. Your own arguments should become more precise and persuasive, and you should develop greater resistance to invalid arguments.
You will learn to recognize correct and incorrect forms of reasoning and to apply the principles of correct reasoning. These principles are embodied in several formal techniques (like arithmetic techniques) for determining whether or not conclusions follow. You are expected to become proficient at these techniques. About 60% of the class time will be spent perfecting these techniques.
About 20% of the class will be devoted to the informal analysis of arguments. You will learn how to diagnose common informal fallacies in both deductive and inductive reasoning, and how to identify vagueness and clarify meanings. You will learn to distinguish scientific reasoning from other types of reasoning, and become familiar with techniques of scientific reasoning.
The required text is Patrick J. Hurley's A Concise Introduction to Logic, 7th or 8th or 9th or 10th editions, paperback or hardcover or electronic text. The publisher of the 10th edition of this book is Cengage (formerly Thomson Learning, formerly Wadsworth).
The WVC bookstore will stock only the latest (i.e., most expensive hardcover) 10th edition of this text; the price for the new hardcover will be at least $120. Used copies from the bookstore will cost a little less.
If you shop online, you can get the 10th edition for even less money, especially if you are willing to buy a used text online. Search ABE Books or Amazon using the search string 0495503835 (the ISBN of the 10th edition). The international edition (about half the US price) looks like the best deal if you want a new book.
You can also save money by purchasing the text in electronic form. The material is exactly the same. The difference is that if you want a hard copy, you have to provide your own paper and print it yourself. Go to http://ichapters.com. Under "Basic Search" in the top left, type 0-495-80018-X (the ISBN for the 10th edition in electronic form). Using ichapters.com, the entire 10th edition of the text in an electronic format costs about $60. Or you can order only the chapters you need (Chapters 1 through 7), for about $8 each. Buying each chapter as needed allows you to space out your purchase over the semester. This can be useful if you do not have enough money to buy the whole book at one time. Also, note that the first chapter is free from ichapters.com, and is also available on our course website in Angel.
The textbook is copyrighted material, and all electronic versions of the text are protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management) software to prevent unauthorized access. So if you decide to use the electronic text, you will need to download special software from ichapters to allow access.
If you are a real bargain-hunter, like me, you might want to consider that logic is a lot like mathematics. Both logic and math are standard college-level basic subjects whose core principles and techniques don't change much from year to year. In other words, you probably don't have to worry about textbooks in math and logic going out of date in your lifetime. Earlier editions of logic and math textbooks can usually work just as well as later ones.
Because the subject matter of Logic doesn't change much from year to year, the 9th edition of the Hurley text might work for you just as well as the more expensive 10th edition. (If you are really super-frugal, you are welcome to use the 7th or 8th editions also.) Page numbers will differ, but section numbering remains the same. Some of the examples and exercises change, but usually only in superficial details.
Currently, there are lots of new and used copies of the 9th edition for sale online, starting around $20.00. The ISBN of the 9th edition is 0534585051. If you want the 9th edition of the Hurley text, just search ABE Books or Amazon using the search string 0534585051. Be sure to buy the hardcover textbook, not the paperback study guide.
It is not necessary to purchase "InfoTrac" (a search engine for research papers) with the book. Your book does not need to include the Logic Coach CD, because you can download the latest edition of Logic Coach from the publisher for free (see "Homework" section below for instructions).
Copies of the text (9th edition) and the Instructor's Manual are on reserve in the library. The instructor's manual contains answers to all problems in the text (9th edition), as well as sample exams, with answers. The majority of the problems in the text are the same in all editions.
ANGEL Course Materials
All West Valley College students have automatic access to Angel, an online course management system. In this class, we will use Angel to take several exams. Angel also contains links to helpful online study materials (glossary of critical thinking terms, self-tests and sample exams), as well as course notes. I have put the Instructor's Manual for the 9th edition of the textbook on Angel, so when you do your homework, you always have access to most homework answers.
To access Angel, use the following URL:
Your Username in Angel consists of your seven digit student ID number. Note your Angel Username has no initials in front of it. So your login name is simply your seven digit West Valley College student ID number. Your student ID number is generated by the computer at the college after you apply for admission for the first time and is included with all of the paperwork you receive from the college. You should also be able to get your college student ID number through Web Advisor. If you have not applied for admission to the college yet, you must do so first before you may receive your student ID number.
Your password is your six digit birth date. So if you were born on December 14, 1980, your password would be 121480
Access to Angel for Spring 09 classes will be available on the first day of class.
Once you log in to Angel, you will see all your WVC courses listed on the left. Under "2009sp", select Philosophy 2 (PHIL *002*70660). The course materials and exams can then be accessed by clicking on the "Lessons" tab.
YOUR FINAL: Wednesday May 27 11:50-1:50pm
My office hours are Monday and Wednesday 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM. No appointment is needed for office hours. If you want to see me at some other time, please make an appointment.
My office is Music 4 (in the Music Department, near the campus theater). My phone number is 741-2549. This number has phone-mail. If you want me to get back to you, be sure to indicate how and when I can contact you. If you do not specify a time (within regular business hours, please), I will return your call during my next office hour.
My e-mail address is email@example.com.
It is not necessary to call to tell me you are going to be absent for class, unless the absence will be prolonged (3 or more consecutive classes). I will not return calls for information that is available on this syllabus, e.g., what was or will be covered in any class you may miss.
Tape recording of lectures is not permitted, except for DSPS students with documented learning disability.
EXPECTATIONS REGARDING STUDENT CONDUCT
Regular class attendance is expected.
I make important announcements and give handouts at the beginning of the class session. Announcements are not repeated — either in or out of class — for the benefit of latecomers.
Persistent lateness, talking in class, sleeping in class, leaving early, etc., show disrespect for me and also for your classmates. Your grade is also likely to be affected. For example, I am far less inclined to award the higher grade on a “borderline” answer if the student has been frequently late, absent, or disruptive, on grounds that such a student is simply less likely to have produced the better answer.
Any student who violates the academic code (e.g., by cheating or plagiarism) will receive a grade of 0 for the assignment or exam. This rule is rigidly enforced.
According to the catalog, instructors may drop students “... when accumulated hours of absences exceed ten percent of the total number of hours the class meets during the semester.” I may exercise this option. But the main responsibility lies with you. If you want to drop the class, it is YOUR responsibility to do so.
There will be five exams — four midterms and the final exam. The exams consist of true-false, multiple choice, etc., questions. They mainly consist of problems comparable to homework problems. Each of the first four tests counts 16% of the final grade. The final exam counts 30%. Homework counts 6% of the grade.
All tests, including the final exam, are open-book, open-note.
Tests must be taken on the appointed day. Except in cases of extreme, documented emergency, NO MAKE-UP TESTS will be given.
Credit/No Credit Option
This class can be taken for credit/no credit. This means that if you get an A, B, or C, you get a final grade of “CR” and 3 units; otherwise, you get “NCR” and no units. Please let me know in writing no later than one week after return of the first exam. No special notification is required if you want to take the class for a letter grade.
I highly recommend that you keep current on homework. Many students fall behind assuming they can catch up at any time. My experience is that while a few students can succeed in the class without doing much homework, most students need to do homework regularly. Learning logic is like learning math or a language; regular practice really helps. The most common recommendation made by your fellow students in previous years’ evaluations for this course is “Do the homework and don’t get behind”. You are responsible for keeping current on homework; I will not be reminding you.
When is homework due?
What are the homework assignments?
See the section "HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS" below.
How will homework be graded?
I will check homework only for completeness. Since you will be able to get the answer to any homework problem in class or from the instructor’s manual in the library or (for most exercises) from Logic Coach, we will not go over all homework problems in class, and I will assume everyone's homework is perfect, that is, all problems done correctly.
How much does homework count toward the final grade?
Homework counts 6% of the final grade.
Exemption from Handing in Homework
After the first three tests, students whose average of all test grades so far is 95 or higher (no rounding up) are exempt from handing in homework, and will receive all homework points automatically. You become exempt as soon as your average test score goes above 95, and you may become exempt as early as after Test 3. You remain exempt even if your average subsequently drops below 95.
You can do your homework via computer using the Logic Coach software. Or, you can do homework the "old-fashioned" way, by writing out on paper the answers to the homework problems listed at the end of this Syllabus. All things considered, I think it is still currently easier for most students to do homework the old-fashioned way, without using the computer.
I cannot troubleshoot individual technical problems in the use of Logic Coach. If you have any doubts about your ability to use the software successfully, please do your homework the old-fashioned way.
I. If you use the Logic Coach software
If you do not want to use Logic Coach, skip this part and go to the section "If You Don't Use Logic Coach".
You can get Logic Coach 10 (the latest version) for free from the Web. It is the same version that accompanies the 10th edition of the text. If you are using an earlier edition of the text, please download Logic Coach 10 and use it instead of the one that came with your book.
To download Logic Coach 10, use the following URL: http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20b&flag=student&product_isbn_issn=9780495503835&disciplinenumber=5. . Under "Book Resources" on the left, select "Logic Coach 10". You will then be asked to select the appropriate version for your system (Windows or Mac). Follow the instructions for downloading and installing.
Logic Coach Homework Assignments are all assignments in Logic Coach 10 that correspond to the assigned sections of our text.
Hand in a print-out of the summary table for each exercise set. The summary table indicates for each problem whether or not you have completed the problem. On each sheet, please make sure your Logic Coach user id is visible in the header. Do NOT hand in a diskette.
If you are not using the 10th edition of the Hurley text, a few exercises in Logic Coach will not match the exercises in your textbook. If an exercise in Logic Coach does not match the one listed in your textbook (because your textbook is not the 10th edition), do the exercise in Logic Coach 10 instead of the one in your text.
Use of Logic Coach is optional. You can do the homework the old-fashioned way, by writing things out. If you choose not to use Logic Coach, then do the following exercises. NOTE: To save time on assignments such as those in Chapter I that ask you to identify premises and conclusion, you may copy the relevant pages from the textbook and mark up the copies, e.g., underlining or highlighting premises and conclusion in different colors.
Questions or comments about the WVC Philosophy