Gillian Russell

Philosophy Professor

Phil 100 : Logic and Critical Analysis (Fall 2010)

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: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11.30-1pm
Class Location: Wilson 214
Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Gillian Russell
Email: grussell – at – artsci – dot – wustl – dot – edu
Office Hours: Tuesdays 4-5pm or by appointment, Wilson Hall 209

Teaching Assistant:
Bryan Stagner
Email: bryan.r.stagner AT wustl DOT edu
Office Hours: Mondays 2-4pm

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.



Syllabus – Revised version (9/20/10)

Note from Professor Russell

As some of you already know, I will be having surgery on my knee on October 8th, and so will be away for some classes that I had not intended to be away for, and will in fact be here for some classes that I had intended to be gone for (because I’ve cancelled some talks that I had scheduled.) This new version of the schedule incorporates the changes that I have made so as to minimise disruption to the class – it replaces the original syllabus which I handed out on the first day of class. The most significant change is that the midterm has been moved up to Thursday 14th October. I will not be holding office hours on Monday 11th October, but since this is just before your exam I will schedule an extra office hour for 4pm on Thursday 7th October, and Bryan will have his Monday office hours as usual. I will also remain available via email, so feel free to get in touch if you have questions. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

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 – Tuesday 31st August and Thursday 2nd September

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 a practice assignment and you should complete this as a way of familiarising yourself with the submission process.

Chapter 1 : Atomic Sentences

Week 2 – 7th and 9th September

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

Week 3 – 14th and 16th Septermber

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

Week 4 – 21st and 23rd September

Chapter 6 : Formal Proofs and Boolean Logic – including section 6.6 on proofs without premises
Chapter 7 : Conditionals

Week 5 – 28th and 30th September

Chapter 8 : The Logic of Conditionals

Thursday 30th September: no class

Week 6 – 5th and 7th October

Chapter 8, section 8.3: Soundness
Chapter 9 : Introduction to Quantifiers

Week 7 – 12th and 14th October

Tuesday 11th October: Review session for the midterm
Thursday 14th October: Midterm Examination

Week 8 – 19th and 21st October

Chapter 10 : The Logic of Quantifiers
Chapter 11: Multiple Quantifiers

Week 9 – 26th and 28th October

Chapter 12: Methods of Proof for Quantifiers

Week 10 – 2nd and 4th November

Chapter 13: Formal Proofs and Quantifiers

Week 11 – 9th and 11th November

Chapter 14: More about Quantification

Week 12 – 16th and 18th November

Chapter 16: Mathematical Induction

Week 13 – 23rd and 25th November

Chapter 17: Advanced Topics in Propositional Logic

No class on Thursday 25nd November (thanksgiving break)

Week 14 – 30th October and 2nd November

Chapter 18 : Advanced Topics in FOL (18.1-18.3 only)

Week 15 – 7th and 9th December

Chapter 19: Soundness and Completeness (19.1 only)

Thursday 9th December: Review session for the final


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 your TA.

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

Policy on Late Work

Late work will incur a penalty at a rate of 20 percent of the total possible grade every 24 hours.

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

Homework assignments may be downloaded from this table.



Practice assignment

Tuesday 7th September

Assignment One

Tuesday 14th September

Assignment Two

Tuesday 28th September

Assignment Three

Tuesday 12th October


Thursday 14th October, 2010, in class.

Assignment Four

Tuesday 2nd November 9th November

Assignment Five

Tuesday 16th Novermber

Assignment Six

Tuesday 30th November


20th December, 1-3pm in Wilson 214

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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