University of Notre Dame

Beginning Logic

Course Number: MATH 10130
Instructor: Daniel Turetsky

For students in arts and letters. Provide the students with some formal tools for analyzing arguments. By writing proofs in a formal system, students see the importance of stating the basic premises in an argument and giving intermediate steps that lead to the conclusion. They learn strategies for thinking up proofs. They see that proof checking is, in principle, something that a machine could do. Students learn truth tables and see an effective procedure that they could apply to any argument stated in propositional logic, to determine whether the conclusion follows logically from the premises. There is nothing like truth tables for predicate logic. Students get to experience doing what mathematicians do, trying to determine whether a particular conclusion follows from some premises by searching simultaneously for a proof or a counterexample. Writing papers gives students an opportunity to explore other topics in logic of their interest.