Michigan State University
Below: Course Description | Grades & Requirements | Calendar
 PHL130: Logic and Reasoning

INSTRUCTOR: Larry Hauser
Office:  514 S. Kedzie
Phone: 353-4617
Office Hours: 12:40-1:30 MW
and by appointment

Graduate Assistant: Michael McKinley
Office:  529 S. Kedzie
Phone: 353-9380
Office Hours: 10:20-11:10 MW
and by appointment

Philosophy Department
Office:  503 S. Kedzie
Phone: 355-4490

Logic & Reasoning
section 001
THE LOCKHORNS by Hoest & Reiner ©1999 Bunny Hoest Enterprises Inc. ©?
Leroy ponders induction in the morning.
You must have internet access to fulfill the Participation component of this course (see below). If you do not have internet access you should not take this course.
My classroom is rated R. Discussion may include adult topics and language.


DESCRIPTION: This class provides an informal introduction to logic with a focus on its application to the evaluation of arguments and other would-be persuasive discourse (e.g., advertising). Our emphasis is on reasoning in  the wild.  Students will learn to recognize, clarify, and evaluate arguments culled from a variety of "real world" sources (newspaper editorials, advertising copy, song lyrics, etc.) and to formulate arguments of their own. Topics include meaning, truth, deduction, consistency, validity, induction, ambiguity, vagueness, fallacies, and statistics.  (See calendar below for approximate dates and details.)


4 Quizzes
see scheduled dates below
1/2 of course
Final Examination
as scheduled
1/4 of course
Class Participation
attendance {200}; online forum participation {100}
1/4 of course
Class regularly meets 9:10-10:00 MWF in 105 SKH (note exceptions below) 
Reasoning & Arguments (W1)
Jan. 10
Sound Arguments & Good Reasoning:  13-27
Jan. 12
What Makes an Argument (W2): Statements & Reasons: 28-43
MLK Jr. Day
no class
Jan. 17
Reasons & Non-: Stated & Un-: 43-64
Jan. 19
Clarifying Arguments (W3): Loyalty to the "Text": pp. 67-80
Charity v. the Strawman: 80-89
Jan. 24
Streamlining (W4): Excess Verbiage: 90-108
Jan. 26
Slanted v. Neutral Phrasing: 108-116
Specifying (W5): Ambiguity: 118-134
Jan. 31
  Generality, Vagueness, Emptiness: 134-148
Feb. 2
end of tuition refund =>
Structuring (W6) to represent Logical Form: 149-164

Review of Clarifying
Solutions Manual: 3-8

Feb. 7
Quiz 1
Feb. 9
Evaluating (W7): Truth, Logic, Soundness: 167-180
Fallacies (W8): Argument Based: 182-191
Feb. 14
Motive Based Fallacies:191-206
Feb. 16
Probability 101: handout
Truth (W9), Objectivity, Probability, & Evidence: 209-220
Feb. 21
Self-evidence & Empirical Evidence: 220-233
Feb. 23
Strategies for Evaluating Premises: 234-244
Deduction (W10), Induction, Validity, & Counterexamples: 247-260
Feb. 28
Valid and Invalid Deductive Forms: 260-271
Mar. 2
Quiz 2a
pre-break option
Spring Break: No Class
Mar. 7
Spring Break: No Class
Mar. 9
Spring Break: No Class
Quiz 2b
post-break option (no retakes)
Mar. 14
If-then Arguments (W11): 272-283
Mar. 16
Evaluating If-then premises: 284-298

Tacit & Assumed If-thens: 298-309

Mar. 21
Either-or Arguments & More (W12): Either-or: 310-323
Mar. 23
Dilemmas & Categorical Arguments: 323-331
Evaluating Categorical Arguments: 332-340
Mar. 28
Evaluating Categorical Arguments: 332-340
Mar. 30
Review of Deduction
Solutions Manual: 9-17
Quiz 3
Induction (W13): Form & Total Evidence: 343-353 
Apr. 6
Frequency Arguments: 353-365
Inductive Generalization (W14): 366-376
Sampling Size & Randomness: 377-390
Misunderstood Samples & Complex Arguments: 390-401
Arguments from Analogy (W15): Form & Function: 402-407
 Apr. 18
Total Evidence: Relevant Similarities & Dissimilarities: 408-414
  Apr. 20
The Special Character of Analogical Arguments: 412-424
Review of Induction
Solutions Manual: 9-17
 Apr. 25 Quiz 4  Apr. 27 Review for Final
May 1
Finals Week
 May 2
Finals Week
Final Examination
7:45-9:45 a.m.
May 4
Finals Week
May 5
Finals Week

MSU Final Examination Schedule: http://www.reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/Calendar/FinalExamSS06.asp
MSU Academic Integrity Policy: http://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/honestylinks.html
MSU 2005-6 Academic Calendar: http://www.reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/Calendar/Academic20052006.asp