Spring 2020: Introduction to Logical Reasoning

  1. Introduction to Logical Reasoning: Phil 201
  2. Dr. Peter Gratton, Dept. History and Political Science
  3. Office Hours: M/W: 10:45-12:30pm, 1:45pm-3:30pm and by appointment (virtual hours by appointment as well)  Cell phone (use only in an emergency and best by text): 504-478-5982e-mail: peter.gratton@selu.edu
  4. Required Texts: Hurley, Patrick J., A Concise Introduction to Logic, 13th edition (Cengage Publishing).
  5. General Course Description: This course focuses on informal and formal logic, providing the student with important skills in logic, both deductive and inductive forms, as well as philosophical reasoning more generally. In an era where the news media is obsessed with how one assesses good arguments, we will go through what counts as a logical proof, how to assess that proof, and finally how one does so through symbolic logic. This will be the deductive and logical part of our work. But since we are constantly bombarded with forms of inductive logic—i.e., learning from experience and trying to make generalizations, such as statistical studies—we will also cover forms of inductive logic as we bring this semester to a close. Each chapter will require doing the homework assignments—done through Mindtap (the link is on the moodle course—and I’ll admit that many of you will find the symbolic logic section of the class the most difficult: if you stick with it and do the assignments, each of you should have success in that part of the course.
  6. Skills that students will demonstrate competence in include:
    • reading a text and understanding the argument being made,
    • learning what are fallacious arguments,
    • analysis of an argument’s validity,
    • how to analyze an argument’s soundness,
    • how to perform basic symbolic logic,
    • how to evaluate different forms of inductive reasoning,
    • how to evaluate scientific reasoning from non-scientific forms of reasoning
  7. Different Abilities If you suffer from any disabilities, such as a social phobia and/or a physical or mental condition, which you believe may impede your progress and participation in the course, either with regard to the class itself or quizzes and exams, please let me know as soon as possible. I have worked with students with special circumstances before and I will be glad to do so again to make this classroom (even when virtual) as inclusive as possible.
  8. Requirements: All students are to respect each other in online and offline environments. All students are expected to hand in each chapter’s homework on Mindtap before each chapter’s examination and complete the examinations on a timely basis.
  9. Problems of a Natural Disaster: In the event of a natural event causing the cancellation of school or disrupting your ability to use online resources, students should continue with assignments as provided in the outline below, catching up by watching online lectures by the professor and doing the accompanying homework.
  10. Intellectual Honesty: While homework and chapter examinations are to be done outside the classroom (at home or on campus) and thus can be done with the course materials in hand, students are reminded of the University policy on intellectual honesty, especially that part which pertains to plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Plagiarism and self-plagiarism are forms of academic fraud; complaints or allegations of such are subject to the adjudication of the proper university committee: your first task in the class will be to go on the university website to understand what is meant by these terms. Cheating includes but is not limited to allowing another student to copy from your work, presenting someone else’s work as your own including through failure to credit the source of ideas, consulting electronic devices such as mobile phones, and/or interacting with others while a test is ongoing.
  11. Official communication: Standard Southeastern policy is that you exclusively use your Southeastern e-mail account to communicate information about your curriculum, classes, assignments, and other important information.  You can access your e-mail account from Webmail on Southeastern’s home page.  I will not respond to student e-mail from any other e-mail addresses. You may text me at my number above in an emergency or if I do not reply to your email in a timely enough fashion.

Examinations: 90% of the course grade

Participation (Homework, etc.): 10%

HOMEWORK: You are to do the Mindtap exercises available through Moodle by the time that the quizzes for each chapter are due. Do not do any examinations or quizzes on Mindtap–only the quizzes done on Moodle count towards your grade. You do not need to hand anything in.

Here is the information on Mindtap:

Your MindTap courses are linked to Moodle and do not have a Course Key. Students are required to access MindTap using the link established within each student’s Moodle course shell. Included below is a video demonstrating the process of accessing MindTap within Moodle:


Extra Credit:Go to one of the following events in the department and write a one to two paragraph summary of the argument made in the talk. It’s worth 2 points right on top of your grade total.

PLEASE READ: Below I have given a number of resources for each chapter we are studying. THESE ARE NOT ALL ASSIGNED. I have tried to give you all the resources I thought were decent and provided them for extra practice. What is mandatory is doing the ASSIGNMENTS and EXAMINATIONS. The Logic Coach, extra lectures, and so forth, are a resource for extra help but is not mandatory. I provide a detailed Lecture Video for each section.

Schedule of Assignments:

*All Homework is to be done through MindTap using the links provided on Moodle. Only do the MindTap assignments (not ALPHIA or any chapter quizzes in Moodle) for the chapter sections that are assigned below; no other homework is due for the class*


January 22 1.       Introduction to logic and the scope of the course. Read Hurley, preface.

Course Resources for all of chapter 1:

1.     Logic Coach for Windows
(A relatively old fashioned-style that goes over each chapter in the Hurley textbook.)

2.     Chapter 1 Matching Game for key terms.

3.     Chapter 1 Multiple Choice Practice Questions.


January 27 Asssignment:
1.       Read:
 Hurley, 1.1 and do MindTap for 1.1: Theme: What is an argument?
2. Professor’s Lecture Video

1.      Read: Hurley, 1.2
2. Professor’s Lecture Video

3. MindTap questions for this section
Recommended:  Mark Thursby, Lecture on 1.2.

2.       Mark Thursby, Lecture, 1.1



January 29 Assignment:
1.       Read: Hurley, 1.3: Deductive vs. Inductive Arguments2. Professor’s Lecture Video3. Do MindTap questions for this section.Recommended: Mark Thursby, Lecture on 1.3
February 3 Assignment:
1.       Read Hurley, 1.42. Professor’s Lecture Video

3. Do MindTap questions for this section.
Recommended:Recommended: Mark Thursby, Lecture on 1.4

February 5 Assignment:
1.     Read Hurley, 3.1. Theme: Introduction to Fallacies

2. Professor’s Lecture Video for 3.1 and 3.2.
3. Do MindTap questions for this section.Resources:Chapter 3 matching game

Chapter 3 study set.

Chapter 3, multiple choice practice.
Chapter 3, True/false questions.

Chapter Three Powerpoints.

Quiz 1: chapters 1.1-1.4 due.

February 10


1. Read Hurley, Fallacies 3.2:

2. Do MindTap questions for this section.
February 12 Assignment:
1.     Read Hurley, 3.3

2. Professor’s Lecture on 3.33. Do MindTap questions for this section.

February 17 1.     Read Hurley, 3.4.2. Professor’s Lecture on 3.4 and 3.5

3. Do MindTap questions for this section.

February 19 1.     Read Hurley, 3.5.
2. Do MindTap questions for this section.
March 2 Assignment:
1.     Read Hurley 4.1: Categorical Propositions
2. Professor’s Youtube video:https://youtu.be/RXKko-Azt4g3. Do MindTap questions for this section.

Quiz 2 on fallacies (chapter 3) due

March 4
1.     Read Harry J. Gensler, Introduction to Logic (London: Routledge, 2017), 3rd edition, pp. 31-37. Theme: Venn Diagrams2. Instructor’s lecture (podcast looking at Gensler, Introduction to Logic)3. Helpful Youtube video on Venn Diagrams (nicely visual). 
March 9 Assignment:
1.       Read Hurley, 6.1. Theme: Propositional Logic.

2. Professor’s LECTURE VIDEO

3. Do MindTap questions for this section.
Resources: 4.      A Concise Introduction to Logic Chapter 6 Propositional Logic study set.5.       A Concise Introduction to Logic Chapter 6 Propositional Logic matching game.
6. Test A Concise Introduction to Logic Chapter 6 Propositional Logic multiple choice practice.

7. Test A Concise Introduction to Logic Chapter 6 Propositional Logic True or False practice.

March 11 Assignment:
1.       Read Hurley, 6.22. Professor’s LECTURE ON 6.2
Do MindTap questions for this section.Mark Thursby, Lecture on 6.2Short Quiz on Chapter 4.1 Venn Diagrams Due.
March 16 Assignment:
1.       Read Hurley, 6.3.2. Professor’s LECTURE on 6.33.  Mark Thursby, Lecture on 6.3 3. Do MindTap questions for this section.
March 18  

1.       Read Hurley, 6.4

2 . Professor’s LECTURE ON 6.4

3. Do MindTap questions for this section.

Resource: Mark Thursby, Lecture on 6.4

March 23 Assignment:
1.       Read Hurley, 6.5
2. Professor’s Lecture on 6.5.
3. Do MindTap questions for this section.Resource: Mark Thursby, Lecture on 6.5
March 25 Assignment:

1.       Read Hurley, 6.6

2. Professor’s Lecture on 6.6.

3. Do MindTap questions for this section.

March 30 Assignment: 1. Read Hurley, 7.1
2. Professor’s Lecture on 7.1
3.Do MindTap questions for this section

.Resource: Mark Thursby, Lecture on 7.1

Quiz on Chapter 6 Due.

April 1 Assignment: 1.       Read Hurley, 7.22. Professor’s Lecture on 7.2

3. Do MindTap Questions for this Section

Resource: Mark Thursby, Lecture on 7.2

April 6 1. Read Hurley, 9.1-9.2
2. Professor’s Lecture on Chapter 9 (all).3. Do MindTap Questions for this Section.
April 8 Assignment: 

1.       Read Hurley, 9.3
2. Do MindTap questions for this section.

Quiz on Chapter 7 Due

April 20 Assignment: 1. Read Hurley, 12.1-12.3

2. Professor’s Lecture on Chapter 12

3. Do MindTap questions for this section.

Quiz on chapter 9 Due.

April 22 Assignment:  1.     Read Hurley, 12.4-12.6
2. Do MindTap questions for this section.
April 27 Assignment:

  1. Read Hurley, 13.1-2
  2. Professor’s Lecture on Chapter 13 (all)

3. Do MindTap questions for this section.


April 29 1.  Hurley 13.3-4
Assignment: Do MindTap questions for this section.

Take Home Quiz on Chapter 12 Due.

May 4 Catch-up day

(There is no final examination)

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