2207-103 Philosophy and Logic
Second Semester, Academic Year 2542
Dr. Soraj Hongladarom
Room 1025 Boromratchakumari Bldg.
Faculty of Arts
WWW Course Page:
You can view some solutions to the previous exercises right here.
This is the second exercise, to be turned in on Tuesday, Feb. 22!
You can find the exercise page, to be submitted on Tuesday, Feb. 15, right here!
The policy for grading papers.
PowerPoint presentation of the first lecture.
This course is intended for students in the BBA Program, Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy. The objectives and content are supposed to be identical with the course with the same number which is taught in Thai. However, since there are varying interpretations of the course content and objectives, there are some differences in approaches, textbooks, and some content. Nonetheless, the overall direction of the course is the same, and that is to introduce the students to the basic concepts and issues in philosophy and logic, in order that the students learn to think critically and to appreciate some of the philosophical problems and know how to find answers to those problems by themselves.
Thus, the course will be divided into two parts, one concerning philosophy and the other on logic. The emphasis will be placed on the latter, since it is thought that business students might benefit more from the practices of logical and critical thinking that the training in logic can provide. However, I will attempt to integrate the two parts so the course itself will not appear as two separate courses under the same name and the same instructor. The topics for the logic parts will cover all aspects of basic logic. These are: basic terms of logic, syllogistic and other deductive arguments, inductive arguments, fallacies, and scientific thinking. The part in philosophy will be concerned also with thinking, but the emphasis will be different. Instead of studying the formal rules of correct thinking, we will explore some basic and conceptual questions concentrating around the question of how we should decide which information to believe. This question is very important and has become crucial for this day and age when we are being bombarded by all kinds of information all the time. We will explore this fascinating question in detail.
The text we will be using is: Theodore Schick, Jr. and Lewis Vaughn, How to Think about Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age. This is a very interesting book that is pertinent nowadays as there are talks about "weird things" all around us. However, we will not follow Schick and Vaughn's prescription blindly. We will indeed by critical, even of what is purported to be critical. We will try to find a middle way, if there is any, between superstition and blind acceptance of science and rationalism.
Here is the week by week listing of topics and assignments:
- Feb 1 2000:
- Introduction to the course; basic concepts of logic
- View the PowerPoint presentation of this lecture by clicking here. You need PowerPoint to read the file.
- Feb 7:
- Deductive arguments; syllogism; Venn's diagram.
- Feb 8:
- Deductive arguments; enthemes; elementary symbolic propositional logic; formal fallacies
- Feb 14:
- Inductive arguments; probability; fallacies in inductive arguments; other types of informal fallacies. First Assignment Due.
- Feb 15:
- Scientific Thinking; analogy; Mill's methods.
- Feb 21:
- Schick & Vaughn, Chapter 1: Close Encounter with the Strange. Second Assignment Due.
- Feb 22:
- S & V, Chapter 2: The Possibility of the Impossible.
- Feb 29:
- MIDTERM EXAM
- Mar 7:
- S & V, Chapter 3: Looking for Truth in Personal Experience.
- Mar 14:
- S & V, Chapter 4: Relativism, Truth, and Reality.
- Mar 21:
- S & V, Chapter 5: Knowledge, Belief, and Evidence.
- Mar 28:
- S & V, Chapter 6: Evidence and Inference. First short paper due.
- April 4:
- S & V, Chapter 7: Science and its Pretenders.
- April 11:
- S & V, Chapter 8: How to Assess a "Miracle Cure"
- April 18:
- S & V, Chapter 9: Case Studies in the Extraordinary.
- April 25:
- General discussion. Second short paper due.
FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, May 2, 2000, 1.00-4.00 PM.
There will be several assignments during both parts of the course. You can see that, during the logic part, there will be two assignments which are exercises in nature. After the midterm students are required to write two short papers to express their philosophical thinking on the issues presented. These short papers are to be no more than five pages long, typewritten or printed on A4 sheets. Details about the assignments and the papers will be discussed in class.
Since the Internet has increasingly played an integral role in our lives, some or most of the course material will be provided on the World Wide Web. Thus I have set up a home page for this course. The URL (which is the URL of this document) is http://pioneer.chula.ac.th/~hsoraj/PhilandLogic/. Students are required to check this web site regularly to study the material, to download course readings, and to upload their assignments.
Moreover, I have also set up a mailing list for this course. So everyone is required to have an e-mail address and to join the list. To do so, send a mail from your own personal address to <email@example.com> containing the following message:
SUB Philos-Logic [Your First Name] [Your Family Name]
Thus, if your name is John Wayne, then send the following message to the list:
SUB Philos-Logic John Wayne.
News, assignments, and other announcements will be posted on the mailing list. So log on often.
The grade for the course will be computed as follows:
Logic assignments (2) 20% Midterm Exam 25% Philosophy short papers (2) 35% Final Exam 20%