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Formal Logic

Unit code: PHIL20042
Credit Rating: 20
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by Philosophy
Available as a free choice unit?: N



Additional Requirements

Pre Requisites: PHIL10041 Critical Thinking

20 PHIL credits at Level 1.


Introduce students to the elements of formal propositional and first-order predicate logic. The course will introduce two systems of logic and provide a proof-procedure for each.


The course will cover the syntax and semantics of a propositional logic PL. Next, a natural deduction system will be introduced for proving the validity of sequents and theorems in PL. Subsequently the course will extend the grammar and proof procedure developed for PL to encompass a language of first-order predicate logic with identity, QL.

Teaching and learning methods

Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to construct formulas of propositional and predicate logic, translate English sentences into these formulas, and prove sequents within a natural deduction system for these two formal languages.

Knowledge and Understanding:
Knowledge of elementary propositional and first-order logic and their associated proof procedures.

Intellectual skills:
As above.

Practical skills:
The ability to formalise patterns of argument in an abstract and rigorous form.

Transferable skills and personal qualities:
Improved argumentation skills.

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 100%

Recommended reading

Logic: A Very Short Introduction, Graham Priest, Routledge, 2000

Feedback methods

The School of Social Sciences (SoSS) is committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to students on their academic progress and achievement, thereby enabling students to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development effectively. Students are reminded that feedback is necessarily responsive: only when a student has done a certain amount of work and approaches us with it at the appropriate fora is it possible for us to feed back on the student's work. The main forms of feedback on this course are written feedback responses and exam answers.

We also draw your attention to the variety of generic forms of feedback available to you on this as on all SoSS courses. These include: meeting the lecturer/tutor during their office hours; e-mailing questions to the lecturer/tutor; asking questions from the lecturer (before and after lecture); presenting a question on the discussion board on Blackboard; and obtaining feedback from your peers during tutorials.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 20 hours
  • Tutorials - 10 hours
  • Independent study hours - 170 hours

Teaching staff

Graham Stevens - Unit coordinator

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