Phil 120 (Logic) Syllabus


Edip Yuksel, J.D.

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Course:                                                   Phil 120 Logic




Office Hours:

Instructor:                                             Edip Yuksel



Add date:

Drop/Refund/Audit date:

Withdrawal deadline:

Final Exam date:

Last day of class:

Campus phone nu:                               520 206 2200



Class Philosophy:

Before putting anything in our mouths we observe the color, smell its odor. If it looks rotten or smells bad we do not touch it. If food passes the eye and nose tests, then our taste buds will be the judge. If a harmful bit fools all those examinations, our stomach come to rescue; it revolts and throws them up. There are many other organs that function as stations for testing, examination, and modification of imported material into our bodies. They ultimately meet our smart and vigilant nano-guards: white cells. Sure, there are many harmful or potentially harmful foods that pass all the way through our digestive system into our blood, such as alcohol and fat.  Nevertheless, without using our reasoning faculty much if at all, we have an innate system that protects our body from harmful substances. It would be a mystery then how we can input information and assertions, especially the most bizarre ones, into our brains without subjecting them to the rigorous test of critical thinking. Our brains should never become trashcans of false ideas, holy viruses, unexamined dogmas and superstitions. We should be wise!

How can we protect our minds and brains? Do we have an innate system that protects us from harmful or junky ideas, especially dogmas or jingoisms that could turn us into zombies or self-righteous evil people? Yes we do: our logic is the program that detects and protects us against the most harmful viruses, which usually find their way when we are hypnotized by crowds, salespeople, politicians or clergymen.

Indeed, our brain comes with a pre-installed virus-protection program, called reasoning, logic or inference. Unfortunately, this program is constantly attacked by false ideas, prejudices, dogmas, and contradictory stories. We are fed lies all the time, from fairy tales in cradles to silly stories in holy guises in places of worship. Fiction books are the bestselling. Actors whose entire profession is based on faking other characters are treated like gods and goddesses. They are meteorites and hence are called ‘stars!’ Similarly, we reward liars in politics and in our relationship. We prefer to walk around with ketchup on our nose, since we do not expect our friends to be truthful as a mirror.

Logic or reason is despised by some as “the art of going wrong with confidence” (Joseph Wood Krutch ), “the greatest enemy that faith has”(Martin Luther), “an emotion for the sexless” (Heatcote Williams), “reason enslaves whose minds are not strong enough to master her . . . the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” (G.B. Shaw), and “I’ll not listen to reason. . . . Reason always means what someone else has got to say” (Elizabeth Gaskell).

However, logic and reason is praised by many as “the anatomy of thought….natural revelation” (John Locke), “the only oracle given you by heaven” (Thomas Jefferson), “come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord”(Isaia 1:18), “Do not accept claims without knowledge; your ears, eyes and mind are responsible ” (Quran, 17:36),”the only faculty we have wherewith to judge concerning anything, even revelation itself” (Joseph Butler), “the light and lamp of life” (Cicero), “God’s emissary” (Abraham Ibn Ezra),  “the technique by which we add conviction to truth” (Jean de La Bruyere).

Logic is the study of reasoning: how it is done correctly, how it goes wrong, and how to distinguish between the two. We are born with hardware and system software that uses the rules of logic in interpreting information and arriving conclusions. Bad reasoning can hurt individuals, societies, nations, and even your grades.

Course Description: 

Introduction to the main types of logical reasoning. Includes the nature of language, deductive logic, and inductive logic.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn how to recognize, analyze and paraphrase arguments.
  • Analyze and critically evaluate philosophical, political, economic, scientific and religious arguments
  • Construct logical arguments and identify errors in reasoning by using categories, Venn diagrams, matrixes, retrograde analysis, symbolic logic and other methods.
  • Distinguish and learn how to asses the validity of deductive arguments and the probability of inductive arguments.
  • Recognize syllogistic arguments and learn how to translate them into standard forms.
  • Learn the 19 rules of inference: the nine rules of inference used in constructing formal proofs and the ten rules of replacement.
  • Recognize singular propositions and apply quantification theory to check their validity.
  • Learn the six criteria to determine the probability of an analogical argument. Learn Mill’s five methods of experimental inquiry or inductive inference.
  • Learn the five criteria by which the scientific hypotheses are evaluated and the seven stages of any scientific investigation.
  • Analyze and compute the probability of inductive arguments by using the product theorem and the addition theorem.
  • Develop the skills of attentive listening and dialog in group discussion.
    Express your thoughts clearly and logically in both written and spoken formats.

Course Outline:

I. Nature of Language

A. Introduction to logic
B. Uses of language
C. Informal fallacies
D. Nature of definition

II. Deductive Logic

A. Categorical propositions
B. Categorical syllogisms
C. Arguments in ordinary language
D. Testing by Venn diagrams
E. Basic symbolic logic/truth tables applications
F. Relations between statements, including

1) Contradiction
2) Entailment
3) Contraries
4) Logical necessity and relevance
5) Nature of paradoxes

III. Inductive Logic

A. Analogy and probable inference
B. Causal connections: Mill’s Methods
C. Science and hypotheses
D. Logic and the law

Required Text:

  • Introduction to Logic, Irving M. Copi & Carl Cohen.

Recommended Texts:

  • The Power of Logical Thinking, Marilyn Vos Savant
  • A Rulebook for Arguments, Anthony Weston
  • Viruses Fallacious, Edip Yuksel

Prerequisite: A 3.5 pound substance with active dendrites and synapses.

ADA Compliance: Pima Community College is committed to providing accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in a timely and effective manner.  To request a reasonable accommodation, students must be registered with the campus Disabled Student Resources (DSR) office.  Accommodations will be made based on eligibility determined by Disabled Student Resources.  Services can be requested at any time during the semester.  Requesting services well in advance will help to ensure that resources are available when needed.  Please contact a DSR office at  206-4500 or

Mandatory Reporting for Abuse of a Minor: Pursuant to Arizona law (A.R.S. §13-3620), College personnel, including faculty, staff, and administrators, who learn in the course and scope of their employment that a minor (defined as under 18 years of age) has been the victim of physical or sexual abuse, are required to report this information immediately to law enforcement.

Class Conduct:

  • Refer to the Student Code of Conduct for additional requirements relating to student behavior.
  • Because of insurance limitations, non-registered visitors are not allowed at class sessions or on field trips.
  • Possession of drugs, alcohol or firearms on college property is illegal.
  • Eating, drinking, smoking and soliciting are not allowed in classrooms.
  • Pets, telephones, pagers and other electronic devices that distract students are not allowed in classrooms.
  • Students creating disturbances that interfere with the conduct of the class or the learning of others, violations of the Student Code of Conduct, will be referred to the Division Dean and/or the Dean of Students.
  • Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated and can be cause for being dropped from the class.  Disruptive behavior is defined as behavior that is disruptive to the learning process and outside normal behavior parameters. See the Student Code of Conduct for particulars, but examples of disruptive behavior are inappropriate talking, arriving late or leaving early, sleeping or doing other class work in class, etc.
  • The use of the MyPima portal, for every student enrolled in this course, is specifically limited to the functions that are related to the course content and appropriate communications prescribed by the instructor. Inappropriate uses of MyPima may be subject to the PCC Student Code of Conduct.

Class Preparation and Policies: The course will consist of short lectures and critical discussions, which will analyze and evaluate the key ideas in the readings. Students need to read the assigned pages or chapter before the class.

MyPima: In this course, the instructor will not employ email and/or other MyPima course tools as a means of communication or for accepting course work. Instead, students should use instructor’s personal email, above.

Class Attendance: Attendance is required for all classes and will be recorded through in-class assignments. Students are assigned in-class writing activities and they are worth 20 percent of the final grade. The instructor will have the right to withdraw a student after six hours of absences. Death, birth, or marriage of close family members, including your death and marriage, might constitute as an excuse.

Academic Integrity:

  • Students are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct, also available at PCC campus libraries.
  • Pima Community College considers violations of scholastic ethics, including plagiarism, as serious offenses, which may result in failure of an assignment, the course, or possible expulsion.
  • All work done for this class must be your own.  For assignments, you may use work from books and other materials if properly cited.  Copying from any source without proper reference is considered plagiarism.

Assessment: In order to determine whether this course is meeting its above-stated objectives, a variety of classroom assessment techniques will be used.  The purpose of these assessment instruments is to assist your instructor in improving this course.  Because this course fulfills a general education requirement, you will be assessed on your ability to communicate both orally and in writing, think critically and demonstrate global awareness.

Assignments and Make-up Policy:  There is no make-up for in-class assignments. If you miss the mid-term or the class presentation, you should contact the instructor within a week and ask for a second chance. Based on your attendance and previous record, the instructor may make arrangements with you for make-ups.

Extra Credit Assignments: You may have chance to get extra credit but you should come with a proposal.

Grading Procedures and Policy:

The final grade will reflect a student’s ability to communicate their comprehension of course material in writing and speaking formats. Grading will be based on the following elements:

  1. Attendance and participation in class discussions. 20 points.
  2. Multiple choice tests. 40 points.
  3. Home works. 10 points
  4. Class presentation. Each student will make an in-class presentation on a topic. For this exercise the student will be graded on their ability to gather, limit, interpret, analyze and critique philosophical/logical material, and to present this information in a clear and interesting way. 10 points.
  5. A comprehensive multiple choice test in the end of the semester. 20 points.

Written work will be graded for thought content, and only the final paper will be graded for both form and content.

Points will be deducted for assignments turned in after the due date. The grade equivalents of points are:

90-100:    A
80-89:       B
70-79:      C
60-69:      D

Absent students are responsible for getting class notes and assignments from a classmate and coming prepared to the next class.

Active participation is a necessary part of the work of this course. You should come prepared with quality input, such as, ideas, criticism, and questions. You should listen respectfully to the input of others, especially those with which you may disagree. The rule that one person speaks at a time reflects the value of respecting individual and their thought process. Cell phones, pagers, and headsets are to be turned of during class.

All written work must be typed, except for the in-class quizzes. The final paper must be double-spaced, in 12-point times new roman, and include a reference page. Final paper must have a title, preferably a catchy yet relevant title. In the upper right hand corner of page one, and single-spaced, put the following information: Your name, Course number, Day and Time of, Class, Date

On all following pages, including the reference page put your last name and page number in the right hand corner, for example: Gonzales 3 of 17. Please attach the pages together with a staple. No title pages or special covers for the papers.

Student Withdrawal “W” Grades: Students may withdraw from class without instructor permission and without incurring any grade penalty until the official withdrawal deadline.  Students who fail to withdraw themselves by the withdrawal deadline and quit attending class, remain on the active class roster and may receive a grade of “F”.

Instructor Withdrawal after the College Withdrawal Deadline for “W” Grades: You may request a grade of “W” after the official College withdrawal date only if all of the following conditions are met: extenuating circumstances made it impossible for you to finish the course, your request is made in writing to the instructor and is received by the instructor on or before the last day of the class and the instructor gives permission to do so.

“AU” Audit Grades: Auditing a class means to enroll in and attend without working for or receiving credit.  Students auditing a class must register by the end of the official refund period and must receive written permission to audit from the instructor, who is not required to grade assignments submitted by students who are auditing the class.

Final Grades: For privacy and security reasons, instructors are advised NOT to give grades over the telephone or via email unless the student signs the exception box on the acknowledgment page of this syllabus.  Students who wish to check grades may access grades online using Banner Online at:

Warning: If your religious faith is fragile and cannot handle blows of skeptical criticism; or if you have vested interest in a particular religion or cult; or if you are socially, financially, or psychologically dependent on a religious bandwagon; this class might be excruciatingly painful for you. Thus, you might drop the class and leave this classroom now. Similarly, if your lack of faith or atheism cannot handle scrutiny, you should also consider dropping this class. There are no sacred cows in this class. We treat all of them equally: we question them, we pester them, and we occasionally slaughter and eat them.

Caveat: The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the syllabus and will notify students of those changes in class.