Welcome to PHIL 110
[Office Hours MWF 10:30-11:20, MW 2:30-4:00; Tu Th 1:00-3:00p.m. and by appointment.]
Consultation hours (see below on supplementary instruction): Tu 11:00-12:00, W 1:00-2:00 and by appointment.
To take this course you need to equip yourself with
- Barwise & Etchemendy, Language, Proof and Logic, CSLI, 1999 (LPL) >>>Do not buy a second-hand copy of this book as you will not purchase access
to on line grading services unless you buy a new copy!
- Resources for PHIL 110, assembed by J.E. Tiles. Available as files on MyUH (labeled MyUHn.pdf)
Goals: This course satisfies the Core Requirement in Symbolic Reasoning. The idea behind this requirement is that by understanding the uses of "mathematics, logic or other formal systems" you will develop "clarity of thought and expression." This course will (1) teach you a family of formal languages, which help to make clear the structure of deductive inferences (2) give you practice in the techniques of careful reasoning (3) show you the usefulness and some of the limitations of formal techniques as a way of determining the validity of inferences.
Assessment: The 'plus and minus' grading scale will be used. Accompanying this syllabus is a calendar of tests and assignments (See MyUH1a.pdf). Each exercise will be given credit on a 'pass-fail' basis and the grade assigned for this part of the course at the end of the semester will be based on the number of credits earned. The grade for this part of the course will count for 30% of the final grade. Each of the two mid-term tests will count for 20% of the final grade and the final test will count for 30% of the final grade. Passing the final test is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for passing this course.
Tests: A week before each mid-term test (and on the last meeting of class before the final) a practice test will be issued. This practice test will have exactly the same kind and number of problems (and in the same order) as the actual test. You are encouraged to plan the order in which you will tackle the questions so as make sure that you answer first those questions for which you are likely to get most credit.
On all written tests you will write only your 8-digit student identification number and not your name (and not your SSN, either). If you have not memorized your student identification number, bring your university identity card to the test so that you can copy your number onto the test.
Assignments take the following forms.
- Those due on Fri are to be written on paper and handed in to be collected by Sarah.
Students who submit written exercises on the date due receive full credit for each exercise completed correctly and have one week after the return of exercises to submit their corrected exercises to Sarah for full credit. Exercises not handed in when due may be submitted within one week of the due date to Sarah and, those correct (or corrected by the end of the week) will receive half credit.
- Those due on Wednesdays and assigned out of LPL are to be submitted on-line to the "grade grinder" (which can be accessed from either a Mac or PC computer) You must read LPL pp. 5-10 and the information included with this syllabus (see the next side of this syllabus) very carefully to learn how to submit your work to the "grade grinder."
Students whose grade grinder reports on assigned LPL exercises reach the instructor by midnight of the day they are due receive full credit for each exercise the grade grinder reports as correct. Students whose grade grinder reports reach the instructor within one week of their due date receive half credit for each exercise the grade grinder reports as correct.
Submitting files to the grade grinder: When you first submit a set of exercises, do not tell grade grinder to report the results to your instructor. When the grade grinder has evaluated your exercises, fix any mistakes, following the grade-grinder's advice or by obtaining help from your instructor or from your GTA. When the grade grinder has affirmed that your exercise is correct, then resubmit it to the grade-grinder, instructing the grade grinder to report the results to your instructor.
You may send more than one exercise at a time to the grade-grinder. You may, if you wish, immediately resubmit those, which are correct and have them reported to your instructor, and have the remainder reported as and when you have correct solutions.
Below is a picture of the screen you fill out each time you submit to the grade grinder. There is an email account for this class and it is
The grade grinder will compare your submissions to those it receives from other students for copied and overlapping files. No credit will be given for exercises that the Grade Grinder reports as copied or overlapping.
Remember that 30% of your grade in this course depends on the total number of exercises for which you receive credit.
Records: You can keep track of the exercises for which you have credit by putting an 'X' (and '/' for half-credit) in the square brackets behind the exercise number on the copy of the record sheet, when you have your work returned by the grade grinder or by your GTA.
Your GTA will be available in Sakamaki D306 every week on Tuesday from 11:00-12:00 and on Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:00 in Sakamkai D306 to clarify concepts principles and procedures and to offer help with assigned exercises. Students who cannot make either time and would like Sarah to schedule an additional period should email jtiles@hawaii with a list of possible times.
There are ten personal computers (various models of Macs) with web access in Sakamaki D306. This room is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except when a class has booked it for use. If the door to D306 is not open, enter through D305 and open the door to the corridor and turn on the lights. Make sure the power strip to the computer you choose is 'On' and also make sure the power strip under the table farthest from the door is 'On' (as this is the power source for the hub, connecting all the computers to the ethernet.) Your instructor's office is Sakamaki D307 and if his door is open you are encouraged to ask for help with any problems. There is a large table in D306 without computers on it and you may work on your own laptop there or among the Macs near a power strip.
D306 is a reading room and library etiquette (hushed voices) must be observed at all times. No Food or Drink is allowed in Sakamaki D306.
Students who need reasonable accommodations because of the impact of a disability, should (i) contact the KOKUA Program, room 013, QLCSS, 956-7511 or 956-7612; (ii) speak with the instructor who will be happy to work the KOKUA Program to meet any access needs related to any documented disability.
An FAQ and a Little History
Why do we have to use computer programs to learn logic?
Because formal logic is like a math or science subject in that it cannot be learned without doing exercises. The best way to profit from doing exercises is to have feedback on your exercise as soon as possible. Computer learning programs allow you to check most aspects of your exercise immediately (or almost immediately). Submitting work to a human grader cannot possibly give you the feedback you need as quickly or as accurately.
A little history:
Tarski's World was written for the first Macintosh computers in the late 1980s shortly after Apple computers introduced the first Mac. It was only possible to write this "formal language learning-machine" because the design of the Mac had involved the introduction of a revolutionary graphic-text interface, which it took PC architecture many years and much more physical computing power to implement. The first PC version of Tarski's World ran on Windows? 95.
A "proof learning-machine," known as Hyperproof was written for Macs and published in 1994. Owing in part to the difficulty of the task, in part to the belief that computer grading had to be done "on-line", and in part to the recognition that Macs would not capture a significant market share, Hyperproof was never translated to a PC platform or updated to Mac System X. In 1999 a stripped-down version (no graphics component) of the proof learning machine in Hyperproof, named Fitch, was packaged with an updated version of Tarski's World and a truth table program, Boole, in the text Language, Proof and Logic.
Your instructor has used Tarski's World since 1987, and Hyperproof since 1997 but because the increasing difficulty of finding computers that can run the Mac System 9, has given up assigning problems in Hyperproof. Hyperproof has, however, very useful features which it has not been possible to carry over to Fitch, consequently some classroom demonstrations and some written problems will make use of Hyperproof. MyUH3.pdf will explain what you need to know about Hyperproof to benefit from these.