Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL2021: Symbolic Logic

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Aims

The module aims to develop your reasoning skills and provide a thorough grounding in the logical analysis of philosophical arguments. These skills are a fundamental component of the analytical philosopher’s toolkit and will allow the students to analyse a wide range of arguments from the abstract to the practical. Symbolisation and the natural deduction method facilitate a broad understanding of the forms of argument that are widely used (and misused) in academic discourse and everyday life. The translation of, sometimes vague and imprecise, natural language arguments into the precise and unambiguous languages of basic sentential and predicate logic is a powerful tool for revealing what is actually at stake in arguments. The construction of proofs in these formal languages also develops a rigour and precision in the students’ reasoning that will be invaluable in a wide range of circumstances.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. symbolise complex natural language arguments in sentential and monadic predicate logic
2. test argument validity with truth tables and interpretations
3. develop proofs in sentential logic making use of the natural deduction method
Discipline-Specific Skills4. analyse and understand the underlying structure of arguments
5. apply an understanding of logical structure to natural language arguments
6. develop reasoning skills with the logical tools learned
Personal and Key Skills7. construct and evaluate arguments
8. formulate and express ideas clearly and rigourously at different levels of abstraction