Introduction to Logic

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1 or Year 2
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Religions and Philosophies

Module overview

This module is designed as a stimulating introduction to the basic concepts of formal logic and to various methods of argument analysis and evaluation.

The objective of the module is to equip students with the necessary intellectual tools to understand and engage critically with philosophical texts, as well as to write and reason in an ordered and rigorous way. You will learn about rudimentary logical concepts such as inference, deduction and induction, validity, and soundness, and apply such knowledge in your engagement with a range of philosophical texts produced in the Global North and in the Global South.

You will also learn about a range of formal and informal fallacies, and develop the skills to identify when these are committed by authors. This will be done through the analysis of not only published philosophy texts, but also in the analysis of tabloid editorials, broadsheet editorials, and party-political speeches. Extensive in-class exercises focusing on argument construction, reconstruction, truth-tables, and truth-trees are designed to enhance a range of academic skills that will build your confidence in applying the methods in a wide variety of circumstances.

Objectives and learning outcomes 

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

  • Define technical concepts in deductive and inductive logic    
  • Identify a range of fallacies (formal and informal)
  • Use the truth-table method to make sense of compound formal sentences that contain logical connectives
  • Use the truth-tree method to make sense of compound formal sentences that contain logical connectives 
  • Critically reflect on learning about techniques in formal logic for establishing the truth-conditions of sentences and for establishing a range of logical properties (such as validity and truth-functional consistency)

Scope and syllabus

1Validity, Soundness, and Inductive Force
2Formal fallacies
3Informal fallacies
4Truth-tables: Conjunction and Disjunction
5Truth-tables: Material Implication, Biconditionals, Tautology, Contradiction, Indeterminacy, and Consistency
6Reading Week
7Truth-tables: Testing for Validity
8Truth-trees: Conjunction and Disjunction
9Truth-trees: Material Implication and Biconditional
10Truth-trees: Testing for Validity


  • 3-hours lecture per week

Method of assessment

  • One essay of 1,000 words OR a video essay or multimedia presentation (5 minutes, 5 pages/slides)- (30%)
  • One portfolio including longer essay of 2000 words, 10 minutes, 7 - 10 pages/slides (70%)

Suggested reading

  • Bergmann, M., Moor, J., and Nelson, J. 2013. The Logic Book (6th ed.)  New York: McGraw-Hill



Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.