Gillian Russell

Philosophy Professor

Phil 100 : Logic and Critical Analysis (Fall 2008)

Course website:
Textbook: Language, Proof and Logic, by Barwise and Etchemendy
(you must by a new copy of this book, and take good care of your registration ID)
Book website:
Class Times: Mondays and Wednesdays at 9-10.30 am
Class Location: Whitaker 216
Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Gillian Russell
Email: grussell – at – artsci – dot – wustl – dot – edu
Office Hours: Wednesday, 4.15-5.15 pm or by appointment, Wilson Hall 209
Phone: 935-6686

Teaching Assistant:
John Gabriel
Email: jgabriel AT artsci DOT wustl DOT edu
Office Hours: Monday 10.30-11.30am, Wednesday 10.30-11.30am
John’s office is in the basement of Wilson Hall.

Course Description:

This course is an introduction to logic for students with no previous experience with the subject. Logic is the formal study of arguments, where argument is intended in a very specific sense. Whenever anyone puts forward a set of reasons for accepting a sentence, e.g.:

Most scientists are alarmists, so gobal warming is not a serious problem.


If Israel goes into the war, then the casualties will be much higher. But Israel will not go into the war, so casualty levels will be low.

they are providing an argument.
An argument in our sense is a sequence of statements, one of which is supposed to follow from, or be supported by, the others. In logic we are interested in characterising what makes an argument a good argument.

In this course we will
study the semantics and proof theory for truth-functional (or propositional) logic and first order predicate logic with quantifiers, concluding with soundness and completeness proofs.



All the reading for the course is from our textbook. Before the midterm we will be focusing on part I, after the midterm on part II. If we get time at the end of the course, we will take a brief look at some of the more interesting sections in part III, but assessment (in the problem sets and exams) will focus on the first two parts.

Sections marked “optional” on the book’s content’s page are not required reading unless I explicitly say that they are to be read (below or in class.)

Week 1 – Wednesday 27th August

Reading: Introduction (LPL)
Software Manual (LPL cd)
You should use this time to familiarize yourself with the computer software, sorting out technical problems so that you know what you are doing when it is time to submit the first homework assignment. There will be an (optional) practice assignment and we reccommend that you complete this as a way of familiarising yourself with the submission process.

Week 2 – Wednesday 3rd September

Chapter 1 : Atomic Sentences

Week 3 – Monday 8th and Wednesday 10th Septermber

Chapter 2 : The Logic of Atomic Sentences
Chapter 3 : The Boolean Connectives – including section 3.8

Week 4 – Monday 15th and Wednesday 17th September

Chapter 4 : The Logic of Boolean Connectives – including sections 4.5 and 4.6
Chapter 5 : Methods of Proof for Boolean Logic

Week 5 – 22nd and 24th September

Chapter 6 : Formal Proofs and Boolean Logic – including section 6.6 on proofs without premises

Week 6 – 29th September and 1st October

Chapter 7 : Conditionals
Chapter 8 : The Logic of Conditionals

Week 7 – 6th and 8th October

Wednesday 8th October: Review session for the midterm

Week 8 – 13th and 15nd October

Monday 13th October: Midterm Examination

Wednesday 15th October: Soundness and Completeness

Week 9 – 20th and 22nd October

Chapter 9 : Introduction to Quantifiers
Chapter 10 : The Logic of Quantifiers

Week 10 – 27th and 29th October

Chapter 11: Mutiple Quantifiers

Week 11 – 3rd and 5th November

Chapter 12: Methods of Proof for Quantifiers

Week 12 – 10th and 12th November

Chapter 13: Formal Proofs and Quantifiers

Week 13 – 17th and 19th November

Chapter 14: More about Quantification
Chapter 16: Mathematical Induction

Week 14 – 24th November

Chapter 17: Advanced Topics in Propositional Logic

No class on Wednesday 26th November (thanksgiving break)

Week 15 – 1st and 3rd December

Chapter 18 : Advanced Topics in FOL (18.1-18.3 only)
Chapter 19: Soundness and Completeness (19.1 only)

Wednesday 3rd December – Review session for the final.

Monday 8th December

Final Exam – in class.


The subject is largely mathematical in nature and assessment in this course will be by way of 6 problem sets to be done at home (60%), and midterm (20%) and
final (20%) examinations. Problem sets should be turned in to John Gabriel (our teaching assistant). His email is jgabriel – AT – artsci DOT wustl DOT edu.

Assignments for this course can be downloaded as .pdf files from the table below.

Policy on Late Work


Academic Misconduct

It is very important that you understand the rules for collaboration on this course. You may work with other students in order to solve the problems in your take-home problem sets, in fact, this is encouraged. However each student must write up his or her own solutions alone. You may not do it with another student looking over your shoulder to correct you. You may not do this from notes which another student has made, nor may you make notes on another student’s written solutions. You may not lend or copy digital or paper homework solutions – at any stage of completion. Collaboration is, of course, completely forbidden during the midterm and final examinations.

Sometimes it is unclear whether a hypothetical case of collaboration is permissible according to these rules, or whether it counts as misconduct, but it is your duty to ensure that ALL your collaborations are clearly permissible. One good way to do this is not to take any written notes whilst working with other students: use a chalk board or white board to work out ideas, or, if you use paper, dispose of the written solutions before you separate to write up your individual homeworks alone. The Grade Grinder incorporates sophisticated mechanisms for detecting plagiarism and I suggest you read about these mechanisms on the LPL website and in the LPL book. Students suspected of plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty or misconduct will be reported to the academic integrity officer for Arts and Sciences (currently Dean Killen), so that the incident may be handled in a consistent, fair manner, and so that substantiated charges of misconduct may be noted in students’ records.


Homework Assignments and Exams

Homework assignments may be downloaded from this table. Written homework should be turned in by 3.30pm on the due date.
Electronic homework must be submitted before midnight on the due date, i.e. if the due date is a Monday, 11.45pm on Monday would be on time, but 12.05am, early on Tuesday morning would be late.



Practice assignment (recommended but optional)

Thursday 4th September

Assignment One

Monday 15th September Friday 19th September

Assignment Two

Monday 29th September

Assignment Three

Monday 6th October


Monday 13th October

Assignment Four

Monday 3rd November

Assignment Five

Monday 17th November

Assignment Six

Monday 1st December


Monday 8th December

Related Links

The website for the book is here:

Richard Zach’s guide to the LPL celebrities: Who are Fitch, Boole and Tarski?

Greg Restall’s Great Moments in Logic

For those students who wish to take the class pass/fail, final grades for the course of C- or above will constitute a pass.

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