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Course Prerequisites
Course Materials
Course Outcomes

Course Prerequisites

Presumably, your first logic course was BYU’s Philosophy 205 or a comparable beginning course in formal logic. I don’t want to bore you with a laundry list, but here is what I assume you know and can do:

  1. You must understand the following terms: argument, valid, sound, negation, conjunction, disjunction, conditional statement, antecedent, consequent, tautology, contingency, self-contradiction, implication, and equivalence.
  2. You should be able to appraise the validity of syllogisms using some standard method such as Venn diagrams.
  3. You must be able to use standard notation for truth-functional logic, and you should be able to appraise the validity of truth-functional arguments (truth-functional or propositional logic) using some standard method such as truth tables.
  4. You must know and be able to use fluently a standard system of rules for constructing proofs for valid truth-functional arguments as well as the usual proof strategies (such as conditional proof, indirect proof, and proof by cases), and you must be able to use such rules to demonstrate validity, tautologicality, implication, and equivalence.
  5. This course starts from scratch with quantificational logic (sometimes called predicate calculus), but it will obviously help if you have had some introduction to quantifiers as well.

If you aren’t familiar with all of this, there is a good beginning logic book that can help you get prepared before you attempt this course: K. Codell Carter, A First Course in Logic (Pearson Longman, 2005). This book is not a substitute for having taken a logic course; however, it is an excellent review and reference. Note that it is virtually impossible to pass this course if you have not had a first course in logic that teaches the preceding list of concepts and techniques.

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Course Materials

The text for this course is included in these course materials. If you have adequately prepared by taking a prerequisite course, this study guide and the readings (linked under the Reading Assignment in each lesson) are the only materials you will need. While we use the same material for on-campus sections of Philosophy 305, I’ve written the readings with you in mind. From the beginning, it has been developed for Independent Study students. Between the readings and this study guide, you should find enough information to enable you to succeed in this course.

Students sometimes ask if there is some source they can use to get help and more information. There really isn’t. There are lots of logic books, but each one follows its own approach, and trying to get help from another book is likely only to cause you grief. Your best use of time will be to study the readings and this study guide. If needed, you can contact me for further help. The best way to do so is through your submitted lessons. I take teaching this course very seriously, and I will do everything I can to help you.

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You will be required to read about 150 pages of difficult material (in addition to this study guide). You will have to submit ten assignments; five are computer graded, and I’ll grade the other five personally. The assignments mostly involve logical and mathematical-like problems and, while they require little writing, most will require considerable thought. There will also be a final examination; the final is much like the required assignments.

Note: So that I can give feedback on your assignment, please leave space between problems or leave a generous margin on the right side of the page.

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Each submitted assignment will be worth a maximum of 5 or 10 points. You can earn up to 100 points on assignments. The final is worth a maximum of 100 points, so altogether you can earn 200 points.

Point Distribution
Lesson 2 Speedback 10
Lesson 3 Instructor-Graded Assignment 10
Lesson 5 Instructor-Graded Assignment 10
Lesson 6 Speedback 10
Lesson 7 Instructor-Graded Assignment 10
Lesson 10 Speedback 10
Lesson 13 Instructor-Graded Assignment 10
Lesson 15 Speedback 10
Lesson 16 Instructor-Graded Assignment 10
Lesson 17 Speedback 10
Subtotal 100
Final Exam 100
Total 200

Final Grade

5 Speedback Assignments 25%
5 Instructor-Graded Assignments 25%
Graded Final Exam 50%
Students must pass the final to pass the course.
Grading Scale
A 100–93
A− 92–90
B+ 89–87
B 86–83
B− 82–80
C+ 79–77
C 76–73
C− 72–70
D+ 69–67
D 66–63
D− 62–60
E (fail) 59–0

Also keep this in mind: you must pass the final exam in order to pass this course. For our purposes, passing the exam is receiving 60 percent of the 100 points possible. So to be clear: even if you earn high grades on the assignments, failing the final will result in failing the course.

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Some Tips on Succeeding

  1. Always read this study guide conscientiously. It contains examples and hints that will help you complete assignments and prepare for the final.
  2. Study carefully the starred exercises in the readings; complete solutions to these exercises are given in the back of the readings and will be very helpful in learning the material.
  3. Get on a schedule. Decide when you want to finish this course, divide up the time between the different lessons, and make yourself send them in (perfect or not) on schedule.
  4. When the time comes to take the final, give careful attention to the “Preparing for the Final” section. This section includes a sample examination that is similar to the final you will take.
  5. If at any time you become discouraged or have particular questions, feel free to contact me. The best time to do this is when you submit your lessons.

Final Thoughts

I’ve helped many students work through this material, so I know what I’m saying. Trust me. Your biggest problem may be uncertainty that what you are doing is right. Since you can’t get instant feedback, you will be unsure and may become discouraged. But if you apply yourself, you will almost certainly be on the right track. Don’t be afraid to send in your work even if you know it isn’t right. The very worst that can happen is that I will explain where you have gone wrong and ask you to resubmit the lesson—that isn’t so bad. There is a good chance we won’t ever meet, but I am your friend. I care about students; I care about you. I take very seriously my responsibility to help you succeed. We are working on this together. I won’t give up. Don’t quit. You can succeed in this course.

Course Outcomes

After you have completed this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Master first order logic including the correct use of symbols and the construction of proofs.
  2. Learn to construct proofs within axiom systems in such areas as identity, set theory, arithmetic, and modal logic.
  3. Understand key historical developments such as Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers, Frege's attempt to reduce arithmetic to logic, the logical paradoxes, and Gödel's theorems.

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


Five computer-graded speedback assignments and five instructor-graded assignments may be resubmitted once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.


One proctored, instructor graded final exam; may retake once for a fee. All assignments must be submitted and graded before requesting the final exam. Students must pass the final exam to pass the course. Final exam is closed-book and closed-notes.You must pass the final exam with a 60% to pass this course.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514