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Logical Reasoning

Course Code: PHIL 2201
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Philosophy
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course enables students to develop their ability to reason by introducing them to elements of formal reasoning. The primary focus will be on recognizing the logical structure of arguments. Topics will include types of statements, symbolism, logical connectives, logical relations, basic deductive inferences, truth tables, validity, invalidity, and soundness; and may include, in addition, inductive reasoning and the testing of scientific hypotheses. Emphasis will be upon acquiring a basic working knowledge of propositional and predicate logic.

Course Content

  1. The Nature of Logic and Philosophical Argument
    • Types of Argument – Inductive and Deductive
    • Validity and Soundness
    • Practice with Valid and Invalid Deductive Arguments
  2. Types of Statements
    • Universal
    • Existential
    • Singular
  3. Natural Language Translations
    • Truth functional connectives
    • Quantification
    • Logical forms and substitution instances of these forms
  4. Logical Properties and Relations
    • Truth tables
    • Consistency
    • Validity
    • Equivalence
    • Tautology
    • Contingency
    • Implication
  5. Formal Logical Methods
    • Formal deduction for propositional logic
      • direct proof
      • indirect proof
      • conditional proof
    • Formal deduction for predicate logic
      • universal instantiation and elimination
      • existential instantiation and elimination
    • Premise-free proofs for tautologies
  6. Inductive Arguments (optional)
    • Inductive generalizations
    • Inductive analogy
    • Statistical syllogisms
    • Hypotheses about causes, and scientific reasoning

Methods of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:

There will be two hours of lectures each week, with time allowed for questions; there will also be two hours of discussion of the exercises and assignments.  Emphasis will be upon obtaining a working knowledge of most of the topics covered

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based upon course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.

Any possible combination of the following which equals 100%:

(No one evaluation component within each category may exceed 40%)


    Percent Range                    Examples
Midterm tests     20% - 60% Two 20% tests         40%
Quizzes and short assignments        0% - 40% Ten 2% quizzes       20%
Final exam    20% - 40% Final exam              30%
Instructor's general evaluation
(may include attendance, class participation,   
group work, homework, etc.)
     0% - 20% Attendance/
participation            10%
Total                               100%

Learning Outcomes

Successful students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish the basic elements of arguments and recognize the different types of arguments.
  2. Symbolize natural language statements in the language of propositional and predicate logic.
  3. Identify logical relations among statements; and analyze logically complex statements into their truth- functional or quantificational components.
  4. Distinguish valid deductive arguments from invalid ones.
  5. Use truth tables and formal proofs to analyze the logic of arguments and to assess their adequacy.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.