phil 110 page title

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This class fulfills a Foundation Requirement in Symbolic Reasoning and articulates with UH Manoa's Philosophy 110 course.                                                                                                       Laulima Resources

Instructor: Ronald C. Pine, PhD
     office: Bldg 7, Rm 625
     phone: 845-9163 (& voice mail)
     Home Page: Ron's Web Page

sunrise image Class Hrs:
  • 1 hour in class = 2 hours outside class

sunrise image Recommended Prerequisite:
  • Should be able to read and write at the College level.
  • Since the ability to comprehend what you read is a prerequisite skill in logical reasoning, students are advised to take the necessary English courses either prior to or concurrently with Phil. 110.

sunrise image Texts:

sunrise image Course Description:
  • The course develops basic techniques of analysis and an understanding of the principles and concepts involved in clear thinking. Emphasized will be logical validity, deductive and inductive reasoning, fallacious arguments, symbolic logic, and scientific method as applied to criteria of reasonable evidence.

    This course fulfills the Symbolic Reasoning requirement for the Foundation requirement for Honolulu Community College and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. See the Manoa General Education requirements.

sunrise image Course Purpose:
  • Because we live in a highly technological society, students should gain a basic understanding and appreciation of formal reasoning and its connection with the informal reasoning of every day life. Students should also gain an understanding of the basic software foundations for our machines (computers, game consoles, cell phones, etc.), and the process of putting human thoughts into these machines. Additionally, the course is based on the assumption that the less we think critically the more someone else will think for us -- usually with the intention of manipulating us. From this point of view, logic can be viewed as a defensive tool enabling each of us to defend ourselves against the onslaught of persuasive appeals that bombard our minds daily. As such it is an important element in the development of individual potential -- enabling us to be freer and more decisive individuals.

sunrise image Course Objectives and Outcomes:  Students will:
  • demonstrate an understanding of the beauty and power of symbolic systems, as well as their clarity and precision, through use of techniques of logical and quantitative analysis, with the intention of enhancing the student's reasoning skills and appreciation of abstraction, pattern recognition, and formal systems of analysis.

  • demonstrate an understanding the concept of logical proof as a chain of inferences by producing symbolic chains of inferences of their own.

  • demonstrate skill in hypothetical reasoning, and gain experience in the presentation and critical evaluation of evidence.

  • demonstrate an ability to use symbolic techniques and formal rules in the context of problem solving by applying symbolic analysis techniques (translating, formal proof techniques, truth tables, argument pattern recognition) both to informal (fallacies) and formal reasoning.

              image Course Content:

A. Introductory lectures covering basic terminology. (10%; Chapters 1-3)
  1. Reading carefully -- recognizing arguments and persuasive appeals.
  2. Argument analysis -- premises and conclusions.
  3. Deductive and Inductive reasoning.
  4. Valid, Invalid, and Sound arguments.

B. Common logical (informal) fallacies. (15%, Chapters 4-5).

Although this part of the course is on informal fallacies, it will emphasize the formal (symbolic) patterns of fallacies.
  1. Fallacies of Relevance
  2. Fallacies of Questionable Premise
  3. Fallacies of Weak Induction

C. Basic skills of symbolic logic.  (70%, Chapters 7-12)

1. Symbolic Translation
2. Truth Tables
3. Formal Proofs of Validity (Copi's Nineteen Rules of Inference)
4. Quantification Logic
5. Multivalued (Fuzzy) Logic

sunrise image Evaluation:
  • Since this course involves a step by step introduction of material, class attendance is very important.
  • There will be twelve quizzes (20pts. each = 240 pts.), one exam on informal fallacies (100 pts.), and a final exam covering symbolic logic (160 pts.).
  • There will be no make-ups of individual quizzes, but there will be an extra-credit-day (50 pts.) prior to the final.
  • Points gained on the extra-credit-day can be used to make up the points of missed quizzes, provided that a student has a good reason for missing a quiz and has communicated that reason to the instructor.
  • Also, with the exception of the "A" grade, extra credit points can be used to boost a student's final grade one letter grade.
  • Regular class attendance and participation in collaboration activities are important in borderline cases.
  • This will be explained further in class. The final grade will be based on a percentage of the total points as follows:

    • 100-90% = A 
    •   89-80% = B 
    •   79-66% = C 
    •   65-55% = D 
    •   54% = F, N or Inc.

  • Please note that the "N" and "Inc." grades are given only for special circumstances.
  • Special Note: Students with disabilities may obtain information on available services online at Specific inquires may be made by contacting Student ACCESS at (808) 844-2392 voice/text, by e-mail at, or simply stopping by Student ACCESS located in Bldg. 7, Rm. 319.

Advise: How to be Successful in this Class