Principles of Reasoning

PHIL 1200. Section 100. Ohio University, Fall 2020.

  • Lectures, MW 5:15–6:10pm (EST). Instructor: Dr. Yoichi Ishida. For office hours, click the menu on the left.
  • Discussion Section 101, M 12:55–1:50pm (EST). Instructor: Ryan Powers ( Office Hour: W 9:30–10:30am (EST) and by appointment.
  • Discussion Section 102, M 2:00–2:55pm (EST). Instructor: Connor Griffith ( Office Hour: W 1:00–2:00pm (EST) and by appointment.
  • Discussion Section 103, M 3:05–4:00pm (EST). Instructor: Marc Guagenti ( Office Hour: Tue 2:00–3:00pm (EST) and by appointment.

Course Description

How do we reason? When is our intuitive reasoning reliable or unreliable? What makes a good argument? How can we tell good and bad arguments? What is a deductive argument, and how should we evaluate its strength? What is an inductive argument, and how should we evaluate its strength? This course introduces basic concepts and techniques of deductive and inductive logic to help you answer these questions. Topics include: informal fallacies in reasoning; system for symbolizing arguments and deriving conclusions from premises; natural deduction; inductive reasoning; probability calculus; inductive fallacies.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain central concepts and techniques of deductive and inductive logic.
  2. Analyze arguments, applying these principles and concepts.
  3. Evaluate the strength of an argument, using the logical concepts and techniques introduced in the course.

Technology Requirements

This course is offered online through this website, Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, and Top Hat. To be successful, you will need to have reliable internet and a computer with audio and video capabilities. You will also need to have Microsoft Word (or equivalent) to do assignments.

Course Policies

Assignments and Final Grade

The assignments listed in Table 1 below are required in this course, and your final grade will be calculated according to Table 2.

AssignmentsDue DatesWeights
Attendance in LecturesEvery class starting Week 310%
Attendance in SectionsEvery class starting Week 310%
Exam 1By the end of Week 410%
Exam 2By the end of Week 715%
Exam 3By the end of Week 1015%
Exam 4By the end of Week 1315%
Final Exam (Cumulative)Monday, December 7, 11:59pm (EST)25%
Table 1: The assignments and their due dates in this course. Weights are percentages of the final grade.

All exams will be done out of class and will have two parts. The first part is a timed test on Blackboard, and the second part is a written test to be submitted through turnitin on Blackboard. All parts are open book, but you will not have enough time to do the first part if you try to look up an answer to every question. More exact due dates for Exams 1–4 will be announced as we progress in the course. See Study Guide and Course Policies about these assignments.

A93 or aboveC73–76
C+77–79F59 or below
Table 2: The letter grades and percentages. Your percentage points will be rounded to the nearest one (e.g., 92.5 is rounded up to 93; 89.4 is rounded down to 89).

Although not formalized in these tables, your improvements over the course of the semester and exceptionally good participation in lecture and discussion sections will count favorably toward your final grade.

Study Guide

Schedule and Lecture Notes

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: Psychology of Reasoning (I)

Week 3: Psychology of Reasoning (II)

Week 4: Types of Reasoning

Week 5: Deductive Reasoning (I)

Week 6: Deductive Reasoning (II)

Week 7: Deductive Reasoning (III)

Week 8: Deductive Reasoning (IV)

Week 9: Deductive Reasoning (V)

Week 10: Inductive Reasoning (I)

Week 11: Inductive Reasoning (II)

Week 12: Inductive Reasoning (III)

Week 13: Inductive Reasoning (IV)

Week 14: Review and Conclusion

Final Exam due through Blackboard by Monday, December 7, 11:59pm (EST).