Phil 130: Schedule and Syllabus


Fall 2009    CRN: 4614

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Ian Duckles
Course Website:
Course Code:

TEXTBOOK: Introduction to Logic, 13th Edition, Irving M. Copi & Carl Cohen, Pearson, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2009. Because this course is online, you do not need to buy a physical copy of the text. You do need to buy access to the Course Management System (CMS) MyLogicLab found at the above link. Access comes with the purchase of a new text; you can also buy access online for $29. This online access will also include a digital copy of the chapters from the text we will be using in class.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning, dealing with the criteria of critical judgment and the conditions of rational thought, and is comprised of both deductive and inductive inference structures. The study is concerned with the employment of rational criteria in the evaluation of opinions and prospective beliefs and with the application of critical habits of thought to the practical problems of human existence” (Grossmont College Catalogue 2006-2007 243).

COURSE OBJECTIVE: Students will gain the ability to critically analyze informal and formal arguments by acquiring training in contemporary and classical logical analysis and methodologies.

COURSE CALENDAR (topics and important dates included):

Do not be concerned if we fall ahead or behind on this schedule. The most important goal is that everyone understand the concepts and problems. This schedule is subject to change. All changes will be announced and posted on the course website.

Specific homework assignments will be announced during the course of the class. Be sure to check MyLogicLab and your email regularly.



 Due (All assignments are due on Saturday by 11:59 PM)

Week O

Pre-Class Meeting


Week 1 (8/23-8/29)

Course Introduction
  •  Orientation Quiz
  • Introduce yourself on the Discussion Board
  • Respond to one other student introduction

Week 2 (8/30-9/5)

Chapter 1: Basic Logical Concepts

  •  Post an example of a deductive and an example of an inductive argument on the Discussion Board
  • Take the Chapter Exam

Week 3 (9/6-9/12)

Chapter 2: Analyzing Arguments

  •  Take the chapter exam

Week 4 (9/13-9/19)

Chapter 3: Language and Definitions

  •  Post on the DB. For your DB post this week, I want you to provide me with an example of each of the five types of definitions (Stipulative, Lexical, Precising, Theoretical, Persuasive) and an example of each of the six methods of definition (Definition by example; Ostensive; Quasi-ostensive; Synonymous;  Operational; and Definition by Genus and Difference).
  • Take the Chapter Exam

Week 5 (9/20-9/26)

Chapter 4: Informal Fallacies
  1. Read the first three sections of Chapter 4
  2. Post examples of four different fallacies of relevance on the Db
  3. Take the chapter exam

Week 6 (9/27-10/3)

Chapter 4: Informal Fallacies Continued
  1. Read the rest of Chapter 4
  2. For the Db, I want you to post examples of four different fallacies. Make sure you give at least one example of each of the three categories of fallacies we studied this week.
  3. Take the chapter exam

Week 7 (10/4-10/10)

Chapter 8.1-8.4: Modern Symbolic Logic Part I

Read pages 315-346

  1.  Read sections 8-1 to 8-4
  2. Take the chapter exam

Week 8 (10/11-10/17)


  1.  Study for the Midterm
  2. Come to campus on Saturday and take the Midterm

Week 9 (10/18-10/24)

Chapter 8.5-8.7: Modern Symbolic Logic Part II

Read pages 346-357

Week 10 (10/25-10/31)

Chapter 8.8-8.10: Modern Symbolic Logic Part III

Read pages 357-371

  •  Take the chapter exam.

Week 11 (11/1-11/7)

Continue Truth Tables
  •  Take the chapter exam.

Week 12 (11/8-11/14)

Chapter 9.1-9.3: Deduction and Rules of Inference

Read pages 372-383


Week 13 (11/15-11/21)

Chapter 9.4-9.5: Constructing Formal Proofs

Read pages 383-393


Week 14 (11/22-11/28)

Chapter 9.6: More on Constructing Formal Proofs

Read pages 393-399


Week 15 (11/29-12/5)

Chapter 9.7-9.12: Even More on Constructing Formal Proofs

Read pages 400-436


Week 16 (12/6-12/12)

Review for Final Exam; Summary of the Course




Grading:    25% Midterm Examination (This will be held in class on the day indicated in the schedule of classes
                  25% Final Examination (This will be held in class on the day indicated in the schedule of classes)
                  25% Discussion Board Participation (Students will be expected to make at least 2 posts per week. These must be completed by Saturday at 11:59 PM)
                  25% Weekly Quizzes (These will be given weekly and must be completed by Saturday at 11:59 PM)

A: 93-100 %
A-: 90-92 %
B+: 88-89 %
B: 83-87 %
B-: 80-82 %
C+: 78-79 %
C: 70-77 %
D: 60-69 %
F:  <60 %


How to Succeed in an Online Class:

Many of you have never taken an online course before, and may be confused as to what to do in order to do well. My suggestion is that you set aside a time at least 3 to 4 days a week where you can log in to the Blackboard site to check for announcements and to follow the discussion board.  The more regular you make this, the better connected you will feel and the more you will get out of the course. 

Also, check my website. I often post interesting articles for you to look at that may highlight the contemporary relevance of the issues we’re studying. Also, I try to post interesting photos there as well! At certain times during the semester, I may direct you to my website for a specific reading assignment, but I will always announce this to you on the Blackboard site.

Please do not hesitate to contact me via email either. I will check my email regularly throughout the semester, but please allow a 24 hour turn around time for my response. Also, I will only be able to respond to emails during the week, so if you email me on the weekend, you will hear back from me on Monday.

Finally, make use of your peers! I encourage you to get to know one another, chat with one another even apart from the discussion boards. Philosophy is a dialogue—and dialogues are usually more successful when they involve other people!

Student Responsibility to Drop/Withdraw: It is the student’s responsibility to officially add, drop, or withdraw from the course stated in the class schedule. Failure to do so can result in a failing grade.

Professionalism: It is assumed that students will conduct themselves in a professional manner with a positive attitude. An open mind is one of the most important tools required for success in academia. If a student is negative and feels as is there is nothing of value to be gained by the college experience or this course, he or she will not do well in this course.

Student Code of Ethics and Conduct: Students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct published in the Grossmont College Catalogue 2006-2007 24-25. Students who obstruct the instructor’s ability to convey knowledge, or disrupt their fellow students’ ability to learn, will be dealt with under the terms delineated in the Grossmont College Student Code of Conduct. Such dealings may include, but are not limited to, warnings, written reprimands, disciplinary probations, instructor-initiated suspensions, terminations of financial aid, short or long-term suspensions from campus, and temporary or permanent expulsions. These consequences are serious and can easily be avoided.

In order to make the most of class, a certain learning environment must be maintained.  Especially with respect to the discussions, students must be respectful of others’ opinions and views.  Discussions should be a place where students feel comfortable and free to express themselves in an appropriate way, without the worry that they will be unfairly criticized or ostracized. Therefore, be mindful of your comments, and make sure that your criticisms are expressed in a courteous and fair manner. 

Furthermore, only appropriate language will be allowed, i.e. no foul language or hate-speech.  The instructor reserves the right to remove students from class if their behavior becomes disruptive.  This may result in an “F” for that portion (10%) of the final grade.  If such behavior extends to other segments of the class, the instructor reserves the right to take further action, including dropping the student from the class.

To sum it up: Be respectful!!!

Finally, ACADEMIC DISHONESTY IS GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL FROM THE COURSE. If you are unsure of what academic dishonesty is, ask the instructor.

This instructor is charged with maintaining a positive learning experience for all students in this course, and that responsibility is a serious one. Disruptive behaviors will not be tolerated in this course.

TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN THIS COURSE (Thanks to Professor June Yang):

  1. Be optimistic about your ability to learn from the textbook, the instructor, and each other.
  2. Do all homework. It will be collected every time, and spot-checked.
  3. Do all assigned reading.
  4. If you find you fall behind in your understanding, contact the instructor.
  5. Be prepared to spend at least two hours per hour spent in class in order to master this material. If you do not, you probably will not receive a grade of C or better.
  6. Have confidence in your ability to do the work.
  7. Use all resources at your disposal.
  8. Remember that you are gifted with more education and intelligence than many persons on this planet. If you try, you are sure to get it, or at least most of it!
  9. Remember that we are all here to learn.
  10.  Remember that you are being trained, or acquiring a skill. Studying, like anything else, is a craft, i.e. an activity. No one is born a good student; we must all transform ourselves into excellent students.

Academic Integrity: 

Cheating and plagiarism (using as one’s own ideas, writings or materials of someone else without acknowledgement or permission) can result in any one of a variety of sanctions.  Such penalties may range from an adjusted grade on the particular exam, paper, project, or assignment to a failing grade in the course.  The instructor may also summarily suspend the student for the class meeting when the infraction occurs, as well as the following class meeting.  For further clarification and information on these issues, please consult with your instructor or contact the office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities who may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and contact Disabled Student Services & Programs (DSP&S) early in the semester so that reasonable accommodations may be implemented as soon as possible. Students may contact DSP&S in person in room 110 or by phone at (619) 644-7112 (voice) or (619) 644-7119 (TTY for deaf).

Supervised Tutoring Referral

Any student needing extra assistance is urged to utilize the tutoring services available at Cuyamaca College. Therefore, to support your efforts to succeed in this class, I refer you to the Supervised Tutoring services that are available. Please refer to the schedule listing in the fall class schedule. All Supervised Tutoring sections are FREE to you. You need only enroll to receive services—no units or grades are given.

All Supervised Tutoring courses are non-credit/non-fee. However, when a student registers for a supervised tutoring course, and has no other classes, the student will be charged the usual health fee.

Ian Duckles,
Nov 1, 2009, 9:54 AM
Ian Duckles,
Oct 25, 2009, 3:04 PM