Philosophy 110

Introduction to Logic

Ronald C. Pine, Ph.D.
7, Rm 625
845-9163 (& voice mail)
Web: Ron's Web Page
Class Hrs: 1 hour in class = 2 hours outside class

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.

Texts: Essential Logic: Basic Reasoning Skills For the Twenty-First Century, by Ronald C. Pine

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.

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.

Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes:  Students will

Course Content:

A. Introductory lectures covering basic terminology. (15%; 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. Students will be expected to read the daily newspaper and other periodicals and be cognizant of local, national, and international issues. (15%, Chapters 4-5)  (An excellent source for understanding national and international issues, and one that will be used often in this class, is the New York Times.)  In this section of the course, considerable emphasis will be placed on the formal presentation and critical evaluation of evidence.

Fallacies to be learned.

1. Appeals to Authority  11. Ad Hominem Abusive
2. Appeals to Popularity  12. Ad Hominem Circumstantial
3. Appeals to Loyalty 13. Questionable Dilemma
4. Provincialism  14. Straw Person 
5. Traditional Wisdom  15. Suppressed Evidence 
6. Two Wrongs Make a Right  16. Ambiguity-Equivocation
7. Hasty Conclusion 17. Begging the Question 
8. Questionable Cause  18. Irrelevant Reason 
9. Questionable Analogy  19. Complex Question 
10. Slippery Slope  20. Appeal to Ignorance 

C. Basic skills of symbolic logic. Although the material will be presented by lecture and class handouts, a significant proportion of the work will consist of student learning groups. Students will often be asked to form groups and compare answers to homework problems. (70%, Chapters 7-10)


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

Since this course involves a step by step introduction of material, class attendance is very important. There will be ten quizzes (20pts. each = 200 pts.), one exam on informal fallacies (100 pts.), and a final exam covering symbolic logic (150 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:

        54%----F, N or Inc.
Please note that the "N" and "Inc." grades are given only for special circumstances.

Qualified students with disabilities will receive appropriate accommodations in this course. Students with disabilities may obtain information on available services online at  Specific inquires may be made by contacting Student ACCESS at 844-2392, by e-mail at, or by simply stopping by the office located in 2/409.

Lecture and Text Supplements