Gillian Russell

Philosophy Professor

Phil 100 : Logic and Critical Analysis (Spring 2011)

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: Busch 100
Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Gillian Russell
Email: grussell – at – artsci – dot – wustl – dot – edu
Office Hours: Thursday 3-4pm or by appointment, Wilson Hall 209

Teaching Assistants:

Nazim Keven
Email: nkeven AT wustl DOT edu
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30 to 2:30pm
If your last name starts with A-K, Nazim is your TA.

Felipe Romero
Email: cfromero AT wustl DOT edu
Office Hours: Wednesdays and Fridays 4-5pm.
If your last name starts with L-Z, Felipe is your TA.

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 logic and first order predicate logic with quantifiers, concluding with soundness and completeness proofs.






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 18th and Thursday 20th January

Reading: Introduction (LPL)

Software Manual (LPL cd)
Chapter 1 : Atomic Sentences

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 graded homework assignment. There will be a practice assignment and you should complete this and submit it to your TA as a way of familiarising yourself with process.

Week 2 – 25th and 27th January

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

Week 3 – 1st and 3rd February

Chapter 4 : The Logic of Boolean Connectives – including sections 4.5 and 4.6

Week 4 – 8th and 10th February

Chapter 5 : Methods of Proof for Boolean Logic

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

Week 5 – 15th and 17th February

Chapter 7 : Conditionals

Week 6 – 22nd and 24th February

Chapter 8 (except 8.3): The Logic of Conditionals
Chapter 8, section 8.3: Soundness

Week 7 – 1st and 3rd March

Chapter 9 : Introduction to Quantifiers

Week 8 – 8th and 10th March

Tuesday 8th March: Review session for the midterm
Thursday 10th March : Midterm Examination

Week 9 – 15th and 17th March


Week 10 – 22nd and 24th March

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

Week 11 – 29th and 31st March

Chapter 12: Methods of Proof for Quantifiers
Chapter 13: Formal Proofs and Quantifiers

Week 12 – 5th and 7th April

Chapter 14: More about Quantification
Chapter 15: First order Set Theory

Week 13 – 12th and 14th April

Chapter 16: Mathematical Induction
Chapter 17: Advanced Topics in Propositional Logic

Week 14 – 19th and 21st April

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

No class on Thursday 21st April (I’ll be at the Pacific APA.)

Week 15 – 26th and 28th April

Chapter 19: Soundness and Completeness (19.1 only)
Thursday 28th April: Review Session



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, not to Professor Russell.

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. Handwritten parts to be “turned in” go in the appropriate file of the “turn in” filing cabinent in the philosophy department office in Wilson Hall by 3.30pm on the day they are due. Files to be submitted via the Grade Grinder should be sent to your TA (not to Professor Russell) before midnight, so please make sure that you have entered the right email address in Submit.



Practice assignment

Friday 28th January

Assignment One

Friday 4th February Friday 11th February

Assignment Two

Friday 18th February

Assignment Three

Friday 4th March


Thursday 10th March, 2011, in class.

Assignment Four

Friday 1st April Friday 8th April

Assignment Five

Friday 15th April 22nd April

Assignment Six

Friday 29th April Monday 2nd May


Monday 9th May (You will need to make sure you are still on campus then.)

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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