Professor Gary Jason, PhD | Symbolic Logic

Symbolic Logic

Course Syllabus

                                                        Course Syllabus

                             PH 368: First Course in Symbolic Logic

                                                         CSUF Spring 2013

Teacher: Dr. Gary Jason Section: PH368(01) TuTh 1:00-2:15pm H-125
Office: LH-524 email:
Home office: 949-606-5576 Home fax: 949-492-4531


Office Hours: TuTh 11:30am-12:30pm; Mon, Weds 1:00-2:00pm; Fridays 11:00am-Noon and by appointment.


Website: This site has your grades, my policy on cheating, all class handouts–including the bullet point lectures, bulletins, class code of conduct, text errata, and links to other sites of use. Log on ASAP to familiarize yourself with it.



1. Symbolic Logic Fifth edition Irving Copi; This text is a classic treatment of the subject, which I will at certain points augment. The two biggest selling intro texts use Copi’s system.

2. Student Study Guide, Gary Jason—this contains course lecture notes, exam breakdowns, and other miscellaneous handouts.

**Texts available at The Little Professor bookstore, 725 North Placentia Ave, Fullerton 714-996-3133

Course Description: The aim of this course is twofold. First, I want to give you a good survey of first-order logic with identity (FOL), starting with sentential/statement/propositional logic (SL), then moving on to predicate logic (PL), starting with monadic predicate logic (PL1) and then on to relation/polyadic predicate logic (PL2). We will finish with identity/definite description logic (IL). We will briefly cover the truth table method (SL1), but my focus will be on helping you develop proficiency in  proof/derivation construction (SL2, PL, and IL).

            Second, I want to give you a broad understanding of FOL,: why it is an indispensable tool in mathematics, computer science and philosophy; how different versions of it can be compared; and how certain key questions about any version of FOL can be answered (that is, I want to give ou an idea of what meta-logic covers)

Grade scale: It is department policy that all courses be graded on a +/- basis. Cutoffs:

A+  A A- B+ B B- C+ C C D+ D D-
97% 94% 90% 87% 84% 80% 77% 74% 70% 67% 64% 60%


NOTE: CSUF requires a grade of “C” or higher to meet the General Education requirement for this course—a grade of “C-” (or below) will not satisfy the GE requirement. If you get a 70% or better, that won’t happen!

Assessment Procedures: The student is expected to attend regularly, keep up with the reading, and do all the homework assignments. There will be two midterms and a final exam. Homework will be collected and graded, and a short writing project will be assigned. Participation: points will be given for each contribution (question, or attempted answers to problems).


Test #1 (Covers Chaps 1-2) 25%
Test #2 (Covers Chap 3) 25%
Final exam (Cumulative, but mainly focuses on chaps 4,5)   35%
Homework + participation

Participation points awarded as follows: 1 point for any question; 2 points for attempting to answer any question; 5 points for putting solutions to exercises on the board.




Attendance will be recorded after the first week, and you will be graded on it as follows: miss 0 classes = 100%; miss one class = 95%; miss 2 classes = 85%; miss 3 classes = 75%; miss 4 classes = 65%; miss more than 4 classes = (100-10x)%.



**There are no “extra credit” assignments, and no HW is accepted late. (You can fax HW to me, or drop it off at the Philosophy office (H-314) and have the secretary put a date and time on it. Do NOT email it!) I give make-up exams (which are graded to higher standards) only when there is a signed doctor’s note or other proof of illness or other emergency.


** Suggestion: We are working with a text I will follow closely (with some extra material added in). SO

1. Don’t attempt problems until you watch me work them first.

2. read the text lightly before lecture

3. listen to the lecture, watch me solve problems

4. reread the text carefully

5. do the homework

The HW is important because: (a) the material we cover is task- not fact- oriented; (b) the questions on exams are of the same type as HW questions.

Policy on Cheating: Any student who cheats at any time in my class will be given an “F” for the entire course, and I will turn the incident over to the Chairperson of the Department for whatever further action is required by the University. For further explanation, visit my website.

Class Conduct:

Students are expected to:

  • Show up for class on time
  • Leave early only when prior permission has been granted
  • Talk only as part of class discussion
  • Refrain from making disrespectful or harassing remarks
  • Turn off all pagers, beepers, and cell phones before class.
  • No iPods or laptops!
  • You may bring coffee or other beverages, but please no food

Teacher is expected to:

  • Start lecture on time
  • Stop class on time
  • Spare the student irrelevancies, such as his political opinions or details of  his personal life
  • Encourage questions and class participation
  • Keep regular office hours and be otherwise accessible
  • Keep students informed on grading

Approximate Lecture Schedule: (May omit lecture ** if cramped for time)


Day/Date Topic Reading
Tues, Jan 29 Basic Terms Chap 1
Thurs, Jan 31 SL1: The First Three Connectives Chap 2.1  pp. 8-15


Day/Date Topic Reading
Tues, Feb 5 SL1: The Conditional Chap 2.2  pp. 16-19 + Handout
Thurs, Feb 7 SL1: The Biconditional; summary of syntax and semantics of SL  Bottom of p. 28-top of p.29
Tues, Feb 12 SL1: Truth Table Testing of Arguments Chap 2.3 pp. 19-26
Thurs, Feb 14 SL1: Truth Table Testing of Statements Chap 2.4 pp. 27-31
Tues, Feb 19 SL1: The Short Truth Table Method Chap 3.8 pp. 48-49, 61-61 + Handout
Thurs, Feb 21 SL1: Finish Truth Tables n/a
Tues, Feb 26 Midterm #1 n/a
Thurs, Feb 28 SL2: The First Nine Rules Chap 3.1 pp. 32-36


Day/Date Topic Reading
Tues, March 5 SL2: Proof Strategies n/a
Thurs, March 7 SL2: The Next Ten Rules Chap 3.2 pp. 39-44
Tues, March 12 SL2: More Proof Practice, allowable step savers pp. 45-47 + Handout
Thurs, March 14 SL2: Conditional Proof Chap 3.4,pp.49-52; Chap 3.7 pp. 56-61
Tues, March 19 SL2: Indirect Proof Chap 3.5 pp. 53-54
Thurs, March 21 SL2: Proof Strategies—top down vs. bottom up Handout
Tues, March 26 **SL2:Truth Trees Handout
Thurs, March 28 Midterm #2 n/a



Topic Reading

Tues, April 2

Spring Break Campus closed

Thurs, April 4

Spring Break Campus closed
Tues, April 9 PL1: New vocabulary and symbolization Chap 4.1 pp. 63-71
Thurs, April 11 PL1: First Statement of UI, EI, UG, EG 4.2 pp. 71-77
Tues, April 16 PL1: Expansions and Invalidity 4.3 pp. 78-83
Thurs, April 18 PL1: Multiply general propositions–symbolization 4.4 pp. 83-89
Tues, April 23 PL1: Tightened Versions of the new rules 4.5 pp. 89-105
Thurs, April 25 PL1: Proof/derivation practice n/a
Tues, April 30 PL1: Quantifier exchange/negation rules 4.7 pp. 108-115


Day/Date Topic Reading
Thurs, May 2 PL2: The Logic of Relations—symbolization 5.1 pp. 116-130
Tues, May 7 PL2: Arguments with relations 5.2 pp. 130-134
Thurs, May 9 PL2: Attributes of Relations 5.3 pp. 134-140
Tues, May 14 IL: Identity and Definite Description 5.5 pp. 140-150
Thurs, May 16 Review n/a
Tues, May 21 Final Exam *noon-1:50 n/a