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Welcome!

This site is designed to supplement our class. Above and on the right are links to notes, paper assignments, our syllabus and more. Use this site to catch up on announcements and as a "get started" place in contemporary philosophy. Throughout the semester I will update these pages weekly. Check the "News" section below for late breaking announcements and resources.

News Weeks 11-13:

These next two weeks are incredibly important as they lay the foundations for symbolic logic. This type of problem solving helps you to learn scripted/formulaic process problem solving and gets easier with repetition.

Things to do Week 11:

  1. Please download and print the notes for Chapter 6.
  2. During Week 11 we will cover section 6.3 and 6.4. with special emphasis on building truth tables for arguments.
  3. Prepare the homework for the above sections due Week 12. The assigned problems are: Section 6.3, Part 1: 9-11 & Part 2 7-9; in Section 6.4 Part 2: 11-14.

Things to do Week 12:

  1. Bring the homework for Sections 6.3 & 6.4 along with questions you have about the material.
  2. Use the Logic Coach program and the Book Resource web site to practice problems from Chapter 6 in preparation for the Chapter 6 quiz.
  3. Practice problems from Sections 6.5 & 6.6 to prepare for the quiz due next week.
  4. Read Sections 3.1 & 3.2.

Things to do Week 13:

  1. Read Sections 3.3 and 3.4.
  2. Prepare homework problems from Section 3.2 for class.

 


Tips for Studying Logic: (resources listed below)

Logic is the study of arguments, and as such, requires an analytical detail-oriented problem solving approach. In other words, studying logic enhances your ability to read directions carefully and analyze passages for language patterns. As with any activity that is challenging and worth doing, the study of logic requires time, practice and patience. For example, you can't learn to downhill ski,  rock climb, skateboard or surf in a day; these sports are physically demanding and one has to learn certain basic techniques before the activity can be performed with ease.

 When I solve logic problems in class it looks relatively easy because I have experience in problem solving and can anticipate the steps necessary to arrive at a solution. I assure you this is an acquired skill and it was only after my first two semesters of study that logic began to make intuitive sense.  Many nights I struggled for hours with difficult proofs in both basic and symbolic logic. Since those days I have come to believe that learning each basic step well is more important than covering a large quantity of material. The tips below are designed to help you benefit from my experiences in those late night sessions.

In the beginning:

  1. Read difficult passages in the text more than once.
  2. Do as many exercises as time will allow.
  3. If the problems at the beginning of each exercise section are easy, move directly to the middle and try more difficult problems. If you find problems in the middle section  too easy, skip to the most challenging problems usually located near the end of each exercise section.
  4. Note/circle the exercises that you spend more than 4 minutes on; if all exercises present take more than 4 minutes to do, then stop. Go back and reread the section covering the material.
  5. Write down any questions that you have while you are doing the exercises. Bring them to class and ask me to explain when we review the material.

As the course becomes more difficult:

  1. Learn about your work style.
    • At what time of day do you work best?
    • Do you prefer a quiet work environment or background noise to fill the void?
    • Do you learn best when you read (visual learning style), or when you hear (auditory learning style), or when you work through exercises (kinetic learning style)? Most people learn best with a mix of all three.
    • Learn to manage your time.
  2. Time yourself and note how long it takes you to read a section.  
  3. Budget time in advance to work on logic assignments.
  4. Make the work environment pleasant so that you enjoy your surroundings.
  5. Divide large work tasks into small 45 minute units.
  6. Set small goals for completing a certain amount of reading or a certain number of exercises.
  7. If you finish early, reward yourself with an early break.
  8. Readjust your schedule if you find that you are scheduling too few, or too many, tasks.
  9. Only schedule intense study for one hour periods with 10-15 minute breaks in between. Studies show that the adult attention span is about 40 minutes and our bodies need rest/relaxation at regular intervals.
  10. If you find that you are putting in six or more hours of logic study time per week and still having great difficulty mastering material, see me for an appointment. I am here to assist you.

These tips are "best practices" for the study of logic. If you have tips/suggestions that you would like to add to the list, e-mail me and I'll review the additions.


Resources for learning logic

  1. Use Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative to learn everything! Here's a link to the introductory logic course which should be a help exploring concepts from Chapter 1.

 

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