Philosophy 273: Logic for Philosophers
Spring 2005, T TH 12:30-1:45
1115 Skinner. University of Maryland-College Park

Lillian Lovich
E-mail: lillianlovich@yahoo.com
Office: 1103c Skinner. (Phone: 301.405.5746)
Office hours: By appointment. (I'm on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays.)


12 May 05: I just emailed the essay questions for test #3 [i.e., the final exam]. Email me if you haven't received them.

3 May 05: Sick day/No class today. Assignment #6 will be due 10 May. See schedule for other changes.

27 Apr 05: I've changed the readings for the remainder of the classes. See the schedule for the new order/materials.

11 Apr 05: Check out Richard Zach's LogBlog to see how fun/blog-worthy Logic can be!

10 Apr 05: I just emailed the essay questions for test #2. Email me if you haven't received them.

31 Mar 05: I've changed the reading for Tuesday, 5 April. Please read the packet about Modal Logic that I handed out in class today. There are extra copies in my mailbox in the philosophy department.

25 Feb 05: Because of the snow day, assignment #1 will be due Thurs 3 March, instead of Tues 1 March. Also, the dates for the other writing assignments have changed. Please use the online schedule as the one on the paper syllabus is out of date.

24 Feb 05: Snow day/No Class.

20 Feb 05: Optional/extra readings are listed in the schedule.

4 Feb 05: New book (Priest, Logic: A Very Short Introduction) recommended [but not required].


[Description] [Readings] [Evaluation] [Assignments] [Schedule] [Links]

Course description

This course is not an Introduction to Formal Logic course. We will not be learning rules of inference or doing derivations. Instead, we will be investigating the philosophical side of logic. We will discuss questions in logic regarding truth, logical consequence, conditionals, possible worlds, and paradoxes.

During this discussion, we will see how these questions link logic to metaphysics and epistemology. Where appropriate, we will exam specific issues and examples in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Mind, and Artificial Intelligence.

The material will be presented in an accessible and non-technical way. Though previous coursework in formal logic is not required, it is highly recommended.

Reading materials


This is a philosophy course, and there is something to read for almost every class meeting. Please come to class having read the material and ready to discuss it.

Reading materials

There is one required book for the course. (It's available at the UMCP bookstore):

Stephen Read, Thinking about Logic: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Logic, Oxford University Press.

You may also find this book helpful. (Find it at the usual online bookstores):

Graham Priest, Logic: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press.



Final grades will be assigned according to the following weighting:

Test 1 20%
Test 2 20%
Test 3 30%
Writing Assignments 25%
Class Participation 5%

Assignments and Policies



For this course, you will be required to complete three essay tests. The tests will be taken in class, but, you will be given the questions beforehand so that you can prepare detailed and accurate answers.

The first test will cover the first third of the course [Ch 1- Ch 2] and it will take place on Thurs, 10 March. The second test will cover the second third of the course [Ch 3- Ch 4] and it will take place on Tues, 12 April. The third test will cover the last third of the course, [Ch 5-Ch 7] and it will take place during the final exam time for the course which is @ 1:30pm-3:30pm on Fri, 20 May in 1115 Skinner.


You will also be responsible for handing in writing assignments. These assignments must be handed in at the beginning of class on the day they are due. I will check my office and department mailbox before coming to class. I will not read any assignments that shows up in my mailbox or under my door after 12:30pm of the due date. This should discourage you from skipping class to do the assignment. Plus, you will have 1 week to complete the assignment, so, plan to get the work done on time.

The writing assignments will be discussion question/s based on each chapter covered in the class. Your answer to these questions should be 1-2 double-spaced typed pages. There will be a total of 7 writing assignments. You must choose and complete 5 of them. Each assignment is worth a maximum of 5 points.

Grading scale for the writing assignments:

Clear and correct answer to the discussion question. 5 pts
Good discussion of the question with some minor errors. 4 pts
Good discussion of the question with some major errors. 3 pts
Fair discussion of the question. 2 pts
Poor presentation and discussion of the question. 1 pt


5% of your grade will be based on class participation. I'm not so concerned with you giving me the right answer. Rather, I want to see that you are engaged with the material. So, be sure to read the material and come to class with questions and impressions about it. I know that it can be intimidating to talk in class. But, this material is pretty dense at times. Talking about it helps you to understand it. And, I'm not above calling on people. So, come to class prepared!



Because you do 5 out of 7 writing assignments, I will not accept any late work. Plan accordingly to get your assignments done and handed in on time. [Repeating from above: These assignments must be handed in at the beginning of class on the day they are due. I will check my office and department mailbox before coming to class. I will not read any assignments that show up in my mailbox or under my office door after 12:30pm of the due date.]

The test days are: Test 1 is on Thurs, 10 March, Test 2 is on Tues, 12 April and Test 3/the final exam time is @ 1:30pm-3:30pm on Fri, 20 May in 1115 Skinner. Please let me know ahead of time if you have any conflicts/problems with these dates.


Collaboration on writing assignments is allowed. However, you must write your answers in your own words. You must not simply copy someone else's work. You are required to list the names of the students that you've worked with on the assignments.

Class Schedule

Schedule of Topics, Assignments, and Exams:

Week 1:
TH 27 Jan: Course Introduction
(extra reading, Why study logic?)

Week 2:
T 1 Feb: Logic- Intro/Review

TH 3 Feb: Logic- Intro/Review
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 2.)

Week 3:
T 8 Feb: Logic- Intro/Review

TH 10 Feb: Logic- Intro/Review
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 3.)

Week 4:
T 15 Feb: Truth- the Correspondence Theory of Truth (CTT) - General Introduction p.5-10
(extra reading: Stanford entry )

TH 17 Feb: Truth- Russell's version & Wittgenstein's version of CTT. Reductionism p.10-18

Week 5:
T 22 Feb: Truth- Theories of Truth p.18-25 [skim Minimalist Theories of Truth p.25-31]
[asst 1 out]
(extra reading: Stanford entry, IEP entry )

TH 24 Feb: Snow Day [No Class]

Week 6:
T 1 Mar:Logical Consequence- Classical Conception p.35-42
[skim Logical Consequence- Compactness p. 42-49]

TH 3 Mar: Logical Consequence- Matter & Form p.49-54
Logical Consequence- Relevance p.54-61
[asst 1 due]

Week 7:
T 8 Mar: Logical Consequence- Relevance p.54-61 continued
Review for Test 1
[asst 2 out]

TH 10 Mar: Test 1

Week 8:
T 15 Mar: Conditionals- Introduction p.64-67 [skim p. 68-74]
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 7.)

TH 17 Mar: Conditionals- Conditional Probability p.74-82
[asst 2 due]
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 11.)

Week 9:
T 22 Mar Spring Break

TH 24 Mar Spring Break

Week 10:
T 29 Mar: Possible Worlds- Modal Platonism p.96-105
[asst 3 out]

TH 31 Mar: Possible Worlds- Actualism p.105-109

Week 11:
T 5 Apr: Introduction to Modal Logic Handout
[asst 3 due]
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 6.)

TH 7 Apr: Catch-up/Review for Test 2
[asst 4 out]

Week 12:
T 12 Apr: Test 2

TH 14 Apr: Reference- Descriptions p.121-131
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 9.)

Week 13:
T 19 Apr: Reference- Descriptions p.121-131 (cont'd)
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 9.)
[asst 4 due]

TH 21 Apr: Reference- Free Logics p.131-137
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 4.)
[asst 5 out]

Week 14:
T 26 Apr: Semantic Paradoxes- Truth Hierarchy p. 148-158

TH 28 Apr: Sorities Paradoxes- Vagueness p.173-180
(extra reading, Priest, Ch 10.)
[asst 5 due] [asst 6 out]

Week 15:
T 3 May: Sick Day/No Class.

TH 5 May: Sorities Paradoxes- Vagueness p.173-180 [continued]

Week 16:
T 10 May: Sorities Paradoxes- Fuzzy Logic p.188-194
[asst 6 due] [asst 7 out]

TH 12 May: Review for Test 3 [W/ CUPCAKES!!!]

Fri 20 May: Exam/Test 3 @ 1:30pm-3:30pm in 1115 Skinner.
[asst 7 due]

Useful links

Helpful Links about Philosophy and/or Logic:

Advice on writing philosophy papers and exams

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

EpistemeLinks.com links about Logic

Logic @ Wikipedia

Richard Zach's LogBlog (Just for Fun)

Back to:
Department of Philosophy

Copyright © Lillian Lovich, 2005