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PHL 134 – Formal Logic

2017 – S2 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Jennifer Duke-Yonge
Contact via jennifer.duke-yonge@mq.edu.au
By arrangement
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Logic is concerned with the study of good reasoning. While PHL137 examines reasoning as it occurs in everyday life, this unit is a course in formal logic, where we look behind these particular contexts and consider what it is that makes a piece of reasoning good or bad: What makes one claim follow from another? People disagree about all sorts of things, but are there some claims and arguments that any rational person must accept? If so, what is special about those claims and arguments? In this unit, you will learn to use formal techniques to prove whether certain kinds of arguments are valid or invalid, and will examine some of the philosophical problems that arise in connection with the methods and assumptions of formal logic. The unit is suitable for those with an interest in the nature and philosophy of logic for its own sake, and for those who want to understand the techniques of formal logic for use in philosophy, or in other areas such as computing, mathematics and linguistics.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  2. Use truth tables and variants to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  3. Use trees to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  4. Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  5. Use trees to test formulas and arguments in predicate logic
  6. Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  7. Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.
  8. Demonstrate commitment to learning through regular engagement

General Assessment Information

Requests for extensions for exercises or quizzes should be directed to Jenny as soon as possible, and will only be granted in cases of illness or misadventure. Exercises that are submitted late without an extension (or which are submitted after the extension date) will lose one mark for each day late, including weekends.

Anyone who misses an in-class test due to illness or misadventure should contact the convenor as soon as possible to arrange a supplementary test. 

Other assessment problems should be discussed with the convenor as soon as they arise.

 

Rationale for unit assessment

Assessment is spread through the unit in such a way that no task is too heavily weighted, and you will always receive feedback on one assessment before having to do the next.

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Online quiz 1 5% 11.59pm, Sun 20/8 (Wk3)
Take-home task 1 10% Thursday 31/8
In-class test 30% Sat 16/9, 2-3pm
Online quiz 2 5% 11.59pm, Sun 22/10 (Wk10)
Take-home task 2 25% Thursday 26/10
Online quiz 3 15% 11.59pm Sun 12/11 (Wk13)
Participation 10% Weeks 2-12

Online quiz 1

Due: 11.59pm, Sun 20/8 (Wk3)
Weighting: 5%

Online quiz 1 is available from 9am Monday August 14 until 11.59pm on Sunday August 20 (week 3). It consists of five multiple choice questions, and you will have 20 minutes to complete it. Further instructions and a sample quiz will be made available through iLearn.

The quiz covers material from weeks 1 and 2, and is designed to give you early feedback on your progress in the unit. 

Criterion for assessment: understanding of content from first two weeks, as demonstrated by correct choice of answer in multiple choice quiz.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts

Take-home task 1

Due: Thursday 31/8
Weighting: 10%

A short exercise based on material from the first four weeks.

The exercise will be made available via iLearn on Thursday of week 4 (24/8). It is due on Thursday of Wk 5 (31/8). It will be returned in week 6.

Criterion for assessment: Demonstrated understanding of logical concepts and methods from weeks 1-4.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  • Use truth tables and variants to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts

In-class test

Due: Sat 16/9, 2-3pm
Weighting: 30%

The in-class test for external students will be held during the on-campus session on Saturday the 16th of September (end of Week 7). The session goes from 10am - 3pm, and the test will be held at 2pm. See the 'on-campus session' page of this guide for further information.

In-class test 'safety net'

Any student who makes a serious attempt at the first in-class test but receives a mark under 50% for it, will be given the opportunity to complete some additional work as determined by the convenor, and sit a supplementary test on a Pass/Fail basis (ie for a maximum mark of 50%) at a time to be negotiated with Jenny, no later than the end of week 9. No extensions of time will be given. This opportunity is only available for the in-class test, and is intended to help ensure that all students meet the learning outcomes for the first part of the course required for success in the second half. 

Criterion for assessment: Demonstrated understanding of logical concepts and methods from weeks 1-6.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  • Use truth tables and variants to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.

Online quiz 2

Due: 11.59pm, Sun 22/10 (Wk10)
Weighting: 5%

Online quiz 2 is available from 9am Monday October 16 until 11.59pm on Sunday October 22 (week 10). It consists of five multiple choice questions, covering material from weeks 8 and 9, and you will have 20 minutes to complete it. Further instructions will be given through iLearn.

Criterion for assessment: understanding of content from weeks 8 and 9, as demonstrated by correct choice of answers in multiple choice quiz.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts

Take-home task 2

Due: Thursday 26/10
Weighting: 25%

A take-home exercise based on material from weeks 8-10.

The exercise will be made available via iLearn on Thursday of week 9 (12/10). It is due on Thursday of Wk 11 (26/10). It will be returned in week 12.

Criterion for assessment: Demonstrated understanding of logical concepts and methods from weeks 8-10


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in predicate logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts

Online quiz 3

Due: 11.59pm Sun 12/11 (Wk13)
Weighting: 15%

The final online quiz will cover material from the second half of the unit, with a focus on weeks 11-13. It will be available from midday Monday to 11.59pm Sunday of week 13.

It will consist of five multiple-choice questions and two short-answer questions (requiring one-paragraph answers). This is a timed quiz, and you will have one hour to complete it. A sample will be made available via iLearn. 

Criterion for assessment: understanding of content from second half of the unit, with a focus on weeks 11-13, as demonstrated by correct choice of answers in multiple choice questions; and understanding and clarity in answers to short answer questions.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in predicate logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.

Participation

Due: Weeks 2-12
Weighting: 10%

Participation is an essential part of this unit, since you will be developing a set of skills that are formed through practice. You will therefore be assessed on your level of engagement with the content throughout the unit.

External students’ participation marks will be based primarily on the weekly submission of short review exercises on which feedback will be provided by the convenor. Review questions will be provided on Thursdays from week 2 onwards and will be due by the following Thursday, except in weeks 5 and 11, when  there are formal homework exercises due. A schedule of external homework tasks will be available through iLearn.

These are participation exercises, rather than tests: It is important to note that your mark will depend not on whether you get the exercises right or wrong, but on your engagement with the course activities as demonstrated by your having attempted them. These exercises are designed to allow your teacher to see how you’re going and provide feedback and assistance as required, to scaffold your progress through the unit. Feedback will be provided individually, and through an ‘external students’ forum’ on the website where you can also learn from your classmates.

In most weeks your exercise will be submitted directly to the convenor, who will mark and return it within a few days, but in a few of the weeks where we are covering more philosophical material, the participation exercise will involve engaging in a discussion of a set question or topic on the discussion forum. More information about these participation exercises will be given in iLearn. 

They will be assessed based on engagement and preparation, as demonstrated by your making a serious attempt at the questions set.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  • Use truth tables and variants to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in predicate logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.
  • Demonstrate commitment to learning through regular engagement

Delivery and Resources

 CLASSES

There are two lectures each week, at 11-12 on Mondays and Wednesdays. Both of these lectures will be recorded through the Echo 360 system, and audio and video lectures will be available through the unit website shortly after delivery. 

Further advice on studying this unit externally will be available through iLearn.

 

 

REQUIRED TEXT

The textbook for the unit is Logic Greg Restall (UCL Press, ISBN 9780415400688). This book will be used throughout the course and you will need a copy of it. It is available at the Co-op Bookshop.

 

UNIT WEBPAGE AND TECHNOLOGY USED AND REQUIRED

This unit has an online presence. Login is via: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/ Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient. 

- For technical support go to: http://mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/informatics/help - For student quick guides on the use of iLearn go to: http://mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/guides.htm

 

 

PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions)

Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are now operating in this unit.

PASS sessions are not compulsory, but are highly recommended for all students taking this unit.

PASS sessions are 1 hour weekly study groups where students get together to consolidate their understanding of the course material; reinforce key concepts and develop effective study strategies. Students work in small study groups facilitated by skilled leaders who will specifically guide your learning. PASS Leaders are former students of this unit who achieved excellent results themselves, and who have been trained as PASS leaders to help you get the most out of the unit.

PASS is for everyone – it is not a remedial program for struggling students, but a program for all students who want to improve their performance.

More information about PASS sessions will be given in the first lecture, and through iLearn. These will be held on-campus only, but any external students who can make it are very welcome to attend.

Unit Schedule

 

Week

  Reading
 

         Formal propositional logic

 

Week 1

31/7 &2/8

Introduction; Propositions and Arguments

No tutorials this week

 Restall, Chapter 1

Week 2

7 & 9/8

Translation: Connectives and argument forms  Restall, Chapter 2

Week 3

14 & 16/8

Truth tables

First online quiz this week

 Restall, Chapter 3

Week 4

21 & 23/8

Trees

 Restall, Chapter 4
 

         Problems in the Philosophy of Logic (1)

 

Week 5

28 & 30/8

 

 Vagueness and bivalence

Take-home task 1 due this week

Restall, Chapters 5

Week 6

4 & 6/9

Conditionality Restall, Chapter 6

Week 7

11 & 13/9

Revision (Monday); Test (Wednesday)

Saturday 16/9: External students' on-campus session and test

 
 

                     Midsemester break 

 
 

          Formal predicate logic

 

Week 8

4/10

 

Introduction to predicate logic: predicates, names and quantifiers (I)

No lecture monday: public holiday

Restall, Chapter 8 (pages TBA)

Week 9

9 & 11/10

Introduction to predicate logic: predicates, names and quantifiers (II)

 

Restall, Chapter 8 (remainder)

Week 10

16 & 18/10

Trees for predicate logic

Second online quiz this week

 Restall, Chapter 10

Week 11

23 &25/10

Identity

Second take-home task due this week in tutorials

Restall, Chapter 11 (excluding "Functions")
   Problems in the Philosophy of Logic (2)  

Week 12

30/10 &1/11

Definite Descriptions 

Non-existence

 

Restall, Chapters 12 and 13

Week 13

6 & 8/11

Monday: What is a predicate? What is logic?

No lecture on Wednesday, and no tutorials.

Restall, Chapters 14 and 15 (pages TBA)

 

Learning and Teaching Activities

Lectures

Internal students attend two lectures each week. These cover the required content for each week, but are also interactive, providing a forum for skills practice and discussion. External students will listen to or watch the lectures online, and should do the activities set in class while doing so.

Participation exercises

External students' participation in the unit is assessed through the submission of short weekly exercises. See the "Assessment" pages for further information. External students are also encouraged to submit any other exercises or work they would like feedback on to the convenor.

Reading and exercises

Each week, there will be reading set from the textbook. You can do this either before or after the lectures: whichever you find works best for you. There are exercises at the end of each chapter, some of which we will go through in tuts or PASS sessions, but any we don't get through should be attempted for extra practice. Exercise solutions will be posted online at the end of each week.

Online resources

The website will contain lecture slides, audio/video lecture recordings, summaries and a discussion forum which you are encouraged to use. Additional resources will be posted online for you to make use of as you wish. This year, these will include further revision materials to assist students who need them, but also advanced materials for students who are interested in going beyond the required material.

PASS sessions

PASS sessions are optional but highly recommended sessions, led by a trained student volunteer who performed well in this unit last year. The sessions are open to anyone who wants to attend. The PASS sessions will be used for further exercises and discussion. The sessions are open to anyone who wants to attend. The PASS sessions will be used for further exercises and discussion. These are only available on-campus, but any external students who are able to make it are welcome.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  • Use truth tables and variants to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in predicate logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.

Assessment tasks

  • Take-home task 1
  • In-class test
  • Take-home task 2
  • Online quiz 3
  • Participation

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.

Assessment tasks

  • In-class test
  • Take-home task 2
  • Online quiz 3
  • Participation

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.

Assessment tasks

  • Take-home task 1
  • In-class test
  • Take-home task 2
  • Online quiz 3
  • Participation

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.
  • Demonstrate commitment to learning through regular engagement

Assessment tasks

  • In-class test
  • Online quiz 3
  • Participation

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts

Assessment task

  • Participation

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  • Use truth tables and variants to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in propositional logic
  • Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  • Use trees to test formulas and arguments in predicate logic
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.

Assessment tasks

  • Online quiz 1
  • Take-home task 1
  • In-class test
  • Online quiz 2
  • Take-home task 2
  • Online quiz 3
  • Participation

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Translate between English and the language of propositional logic
  • Translate between English and the language of predicate logic.
  • Understand and apply fundamental logical concepts
  • Understand and explain some central problems in the philosophy of logic arising out of the formal methods studied, and some of the main responses to those problems.

Assessment tasks

  • Take-home task 1
  • In-class test
  • Take-home task 2
  • Online quiz 3
  • Participation

Changes from Previous Offering

Change to textbook, assessment and topics.

On-campus sessions

There will be one on-campus session for external students, on Saturday 16th of September from10am-3pm. Check the timetable or the external students' forum closer to those dates for confirmation of the location of the sessions.

All external students must attend from 2-3pm, to complete the in-class tests, each worth 30% of the assessment for the course. If this is a problem for anyone, contact the convenor as soon as possible.

The morning session from 10-1 is an optional but strongly recommended session for exercises, discussion, revision and test preparation.