PHIL 512 Graduate Logic

M: 7-8:20 pm 309 Sparks
W: 10:30-11:20 am 212 Sparks

Course Description

This course is designed to help students gain a thorough and broad understanding of first-order logic. In addition to deepening technical proficiency with the languages and methods of contemporary logic, we will address aspects of the rise of a formal-mathematical approach to logic within the history of western philosophy, the role this logic takes on within other twentieth-century philosophical movements, the questions that continue to motivate the development of logic, and the philosophical challenges that confront us when we take a formal-scientifc approach to codifying rules of human thought and language. We will spend roughly equal time i) gaining a deeper appreciation of the technical content covererd in standard intorductory courses on symbolic logic and ii) investigating extensions and problems at the periphery that inform pedagogical approaches to logic and contemporary discussions within philosophy more broadly.


Agler, David. Symbolic Logic: Syntax, Semantics, and Proof.

Other texts to be made available electronically.


Adequate preparation and regular attendance at meetings, and frequent participation in discussions, are necessary conditions for successful completion of the course. The course does not presuppose prior mastery of the basics, but we will move quickly and you will be responsible for keeping up.



  • Six Problem Sets during first eight-week section on technical skills (20 points each = 120 points)


  • Six Quizzes during first eight-week section on technical skills (20 points each = 120 points)


  • Six Short Writings during second eight-week section on philosophical topics (20 points each = 120 points)


  • Two-part presentation on a topic or method in first-order logic (60 points each part = 120 points;satisfactory completion will also earn you a badge for digital content delivery)


  • Mid-Term Exam will evaluate the development of technical skills required for discussion of philosophical topics in logic and for teaching introductory course in symbolic logic. (240 points)
  • Final Exam will evaluate understanding of issues, problems, and positions concerning philosophical logic. (240 points)

Extra Credit:

  • Up to two additional 3-5 minute multi-media productions on a topic of your choice. (40 points each)


PHIL 512 Schedule (Spring 2015)

Problem Sets

This schedule is approximate and subject to change.

Academic Integrity

Penn State defines academic integrity as the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. All students should act with personal integrity, respect other students’ dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts (Faculty Senate Policy 49-20).
Dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated in this course. Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students. Students who are found to be dishonest will receive academic sanctions and will be reported to the University’s Judicial Affairs office for possible further disciplinary sanction.

Disability Access Statement

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services. For further information regarding policies, rights and responsibilities please visit the Office for Disability Services (ODS) Web site at: Instructors should be notified as early in the semester as possible regarding the need for reasonable accommodations.

Affirmative Action & Sexual Harassment Policy

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to a policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by Commonwealth or Federal authorities. Penn State does not discriminate against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, gender, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Direct all inquiries to the Affirmative Action Office, 211 Willard Building, University Park.

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