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PHIL 2040


Location: Knight, Rm. 6058
Day/time: MW, 6:15-9:30 pm
Instructor: Paul Leclerc, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Department of Social Sciences
Tel.: (401) 886-4107

Office: FL 1244
Tel.: 333-7294
Office hours: by appt.
Web site:

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND GOALS: An introductory study of the basic principles of correct reasoning and the logical techniques of argument analysis. The course is designed to develop your intellectual skills in the following areas:

  • Clear, critical, and precise thinking, primarily in relation to the semantic and logical dimensions of language use
  • Sensitivity to the complexity, ambiguity, and reasonableness of language usage
  • Analysis of the logical structure of arguments
  • Discernment of logical fallacies in oneself and others
  • Critical reasoning ability to apply logical principles of analysis to a wide variety of educational and practical contexts

If acquired, these skills will significantly improve your academic performance in many college courses, prepare you well for standardized academic tests (SAT, LSAT, GRE, etc.), and enhance the overall quality of your language skills—writing, speaking, reading, listening. They are also practically relevant since they apply to practical, personal and professional spheres of life.


Patrick J. Hurley, A Concise Introduction to Logic, 8th ed. 2003.

ASSIGNMENTS: They will be announced at each class period and will primarily consist in readings and exercises from the course text. However, additional exercises will be assigned to supplement the text in specific areas. You should be prepared to participate in the class review of assignment problems and concepts.

EXAMS: There will be TWO (2) exams during the semester and a final exam at our final class period (8/18). Exams will be announced one week in advance. At that time you will receive an exam study review containing the basic content areas and format of the exam. Exams will consist of T/F and multiple-choice questions, as well as various logical exercises (e.g., argument analysis, identification of fallacies, etc.). The final exam will be representative rather than cumulative, that is, approximately 1/2 will be new material and 1/2 will be a representative selection of prior course material.

Exam 1 7/16
Exam 2 7/30
Final Exam 8/18

Permission to be excused from a scheduled exam will be granted only for family emergency or serious medical reason, and must be given prior to the exam. Please request permission as soon as possible in order to facilitate rescheduling plans. An unexcused absence from a scheduled exam will result in a failing grade for that exam.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: You are expected to attend class, be prepared to ask and answer questions, and participate in class discussions. If you miss a class for any reason you are still responsible for material covered and assignments given (which can be easily accessed on my web page). You will be granted ONE (1) unexcused absences. Each additional absence will result in a 1/3 reduction in your course grade (for example, a B+ to a B). Consistent attendance and class participation will weigh in your favor if you are on the border between two grades.


Exam 1 30%
Exam 2 30%
Final Exam 40%



You are encouraged to visit my LOGOS Web site for course handouts, helpful logic links, exam reviews, and miscellaneous philosophical materials:

As a courtesy to the professor and your peers, please shut off any electronic communication devices prior to entering the classroom.