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Exam date: 7/21/03




1. Etymology: Greek: logikę or logikos = well-ordered speech, well-functioning reason, systematic thought, intelligibility.

2. Historical origin: 

  • Aristotle as father of Western logic
  • Aristotle’s to organon (tool, instrument, apparatus, method)
  • Syllogistic logic
  • Indispensable, prerequisite methodological framework for all scientific inquiry and discovery

3. Scientific standard:

  • Standards or principles of correct reasoning
  • Nature of critical judgment
  • Form/content distinction

4. Practical Art or Performance Skill:

  • Evidential reasoning
  • Consistent reasoning
  • Analytical reasoning (analysis)
  • Synthetic reasoning (synthesis)
  • Empirical reasoning (inductive generalization)
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Analogical reasoning
  • Explanatory reasoning
  • Abstract reasoning

5. Attitude or Disposition:

  • Intellectual open-mindedness
  • Intellectual impartiality
  • Intellectual empathy
  • Intellectual autonomy
  • Intellectual humility
  • Intellectual courage
  • Intellectual integrity
  • Intellectual confidence
  • Intellectual perseverance
  • Intellectual curiosity


1. Etymology: Latin, proponere and cognates = to put forward, to propose.

General definition:

A proposition is ‘what is asserted’ by means of natural language (typically a declarative or indicative sentence) or ‘what is expressed by’ such a sentence. Any form of discourse that conveys or expresses a proposition is either true or false (truth-value).

 3. Basic characteristics:

  • Factual claims about actual states of affairs (reference, referential, descriptive)
  • Minimal grammatical conditions (subject and predicate terms, declarative sentences, predication)
  • Truth-value and the basic laws of logic (strict binary value system, either true or false)
  • Critical judgment (discrimination and evaluation of evidence)
  • Ideal meaning or propositional content (not reducible to, or identical with, the specific linguistic expression utilized to convey it)
  • Basic building blocks or constituent components of arguments.
  • Types of propositions: simple and compound

4. Basic laws of logic:

  • Noncontradiction/Contradiction: A is not non-A (~A); p ● (~p) = false
  • Excluded Middle: X is either A or non-A (~A); p v (~p) = true
  • Identity: A = A; p = p
  • Symbolic notation: tilde (or curl), dot, wedge, horseshoe

5. Basic types of compound proposition: conjunctive, hypothetical (or conditional) and disjunctive

  • Conjunctive proposition: p and q (pq): p and q are called conjuncts
  • Disjunctive proposition: Either p or q; p and q are called disjuncts [subtypes: inclusive = p v q; and exclusive = p v (~p)]
  • Hypothetical (or conditional) proposition: If p then q; q if p (p  q): p = antecedent; q = consequent (types of hypothetical implication: logical, material, definitional, decisional, causal)

Propositions and language:

  • Declarative sentences
  • Propositions not in declarative form: rhetorical questions, prescriptive sentences (imperative)

7. Propositional attitudes: states of mind, attitudes, or dispositions that we exhibit toward particular propositions, i.e., I (specific attitude) that p (p = any proposition).


1. 10 T/F questions (20 points)
2. 20 Multiple-choice questions (40 points)
3. 8 Identification of propositions exercises (40 points)
4. Extra credit?