Syllabus Philosophy 60

Deductive Logic I

Spring 2013  

  • G. Randolph Mayes
  • Mendocino 3028
  • Office Hours:  10:30-11:45 or by appointment
  • e-mail:  <> 

Catalogue Description

An introduction to deductive logic. Topics include: basic concepts of deductive logic; techniques of formal proof in propositional and predicate logic. 3 units.

General Education

This course satisfies GE area B-5. The definition and general learning objectives of area B-5 may be reviewed here. The specific learning objectives of Area B-5 covered in this class are: 

A. Cite critical observations, underlying assumptions and limitations to explain and apply     important ideas and models in one or more of the following: physical science, life science, mathematics, or computer science. 

B. Recognize evidence-based conclusions and form reasoned opinions about science-related matters of personal, public and ethical concern.

Learning Objectives

In this course you will learn what it really means to prove something.  A real proof is a thing of beauty (TOB).  Like all other TOB's, it takes quite a bit of work to appreciate this.  If this course is successful, then at least once before the end of the semester, the beauty of a deductive proof will smack you hard right between the eyes.  You will shed tears of joy, and you will be forever changed. (Unfortunately, this form of success is difficult to test, and does not guarantee a passing grade.)

Real proofs do not occur anywhere except in logic, mathematics, and geometry.  For example, there is no such thing as a scientific proof, in our sense of the term. There are such things as mathematical and geometrical proofs, but that is only because mathematics and geometry can be treated as extensions of logic. There is actually quite a bit more to logic than proof, however.  Symbolic logic is the most precise form of notation ever developed, and has been absolutely fundamental to contemporary developments in in mathematics, linguistics, computer science and, yes, philosophy.  Simply becoming comfortable with logical notation is an enormous benefit to anyone who would like to do advanced work in these fields.  More generally, the course will also develop your ability to think carefully and precisely in an abstract way, which will be useful to you in all future studies.

By the end of the course you will  be able to:

(1) explain key concepts such as logical necessity, consistency, contradiction, tautology, validity, and soundness.
(2) Employ the logical connectives in formalizing arguments and write out the truth-tables for all of them.
(3) Use truth-tables to test for consistency and validity
(4) Formalize statements in natural language using the propositional calculus
(5) Perform  proofs using the rules of the propositional calculus
(6) Formalize statements in natural language using the predicate calculus
(7) Perform proofs using the rules of the predicate calculus

Course Structure

Class Meetings

Most of the lecturing for this course will occur online.  It is very important for you to watch the online instructional videos and to read the instructors slides as well as the book before coming to class.  Class time will be devoted mainly to quizzes, tests and working on problems.


Your grade in this course will be calculated on  the basis of your performance on 12  tests and about 15 quizzes. 

The tests are worth 15 pts. each. They will usually be taken in class. 10 of the tests will count toward your final grade.

The quizzes are worth 5 points.   All of the quizzes will count, but the maximum points possible is 50.



 QuantityValue Total 
Quizzes 15 5 50
Tests 10 15150
Total Possible  200

Final letter grades are assigned on a standard scale. 92% and above = A, 90-91% = A-, 88-89% = B+, 82- 87% = B, 80-81% = B-, etc. Fractional point totals are rounded up from .5. You and only you are responsible for monitoring your performance in this course. Be sure to pay close attention to the drop deadline. 

Extra Credit

The Philosophy Department sponsors a few lectures each semester.  Students who attend these lectures may submit a roughly one-page summary by e-mail.  Thoughtful, well-composed, summaries free of typos will be awarded 5 points toward the value of your  lowest test score.  A maximum of 2 extra credit assignments may be submitted. 


Missing class is a very bad idea in this class for obvious reasons.  People who are not regular attenders typically fail it.

Late and Make-up Policy 

No late assignments are accepted for any reason.  There are no make-up tests or quizzes.  The reason for giving surplus quizzes and tests is to accommodate excusable absences in advance.


Keep up with the reading. Philosophy is very demanding of your time and attention.  Most students find they need to read philosophical writing several times before they have understood it.   At least a day before class you should check the calendar for terms and concepts that will be emphasized on the quiz.


Academic Honesty

You are free to study together outside of class.  However, all work done in this course is subject to the  CSUS academic honesty policy, which you may read at:  Academic Honesty Policy & Procedures.   

In this course you will be using a hand held device called a CPS RF response pad or "clicker" to answer quiz questions.  Your clicker is only capable of answering questions under your name and can not be shared with or transferred to anyone else until this course is over.  Never handle another student's clicker or allow anyone else to handle your clicker while in class.  Students who do will be expelled from class and referred to Student Affairs for disciplinary action. 

Course Materials

  1. Textbook:  Schaum's Easy Outline of Logic, Crash Course.  by Nolt, Rohatyn, and Varzi.
    1. Recommended Supplementary Text: Schaum's Outline of Logic, by Nolt, Rohatyn, and Varzi.  (This is a more complete version of the easy outline and provides you with more solved problems.)
  2. Instructional videos, problem sets, and solutions distributed on instructor's website.
  3. CPS RF response pad.

Students with Special Needs

Students who have special learning or testing needs must notify the instructor by the end of the second week of the semester.  Students who fall into this category should visit SSWD Lassen Hall 1008 (916) 278-6955 with appropriate documentation.

Communicating with Instructor 

By far the most effective means of communicating with the instructor is by e-mail. Unless you send an email late at night, you will normally receive an answer the same day. Re-send your e-mail if you do not. When communicating with instructor by e-mail, observe the guidelines at this link.



Dates, times and the schedule of readings are subject to revision at the discretion of the instructor.