Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PHL 221
Course Title:
Symbolic Logic
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Utilizes the constructs and techniques of symbolic logic to illustrate the basis for assessing validity in arguments. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115, and MTH 20 or equivalent placement scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students completing this course should be able to:

? Recognize and use formal methods (e.g.Propositional Calculus and Predicate Calculus) in order to analyze the presence of logical reasoning
in social arguments.
? Utilize formal methods for assessing the consistency of statements as a basis for determining the logical validity of arguments.
? Reflect on and discuss the scope and limits of a logical analysis in order to understand how such concepts apply to the utilization of language,
metaphysics, and ethics in social discourse.
? Use formal methods of logic to construct sound arguments in order to effectively communicate strong arguments to others.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies will include some of the following:
  •  Graded homework assignments
  • Short-answer exams
  • Student presentations
  • Class and small group discussions
  • Essays or term papers
  • Attendance

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Course Content
Themes, Concepts, Issues


The course will focus on some or all of the following topics:
  • Propositional Calculus
  • Predicate Calculus
  • Truth Tables
  • The evaluation of arguments expressed in Predicate Calculus
  • The scope and limits of a formal approach to the analysis of reasoning
Competencies and Skills:
Students will learn to:
  • Translate English statements into the language of Propositional and Predicate Calculus
  •  Use Truth Tables to assess the consistency of Propositional Calculus statements and the validity of arguments expressed in Propositional Calculus
  •  Use one of the standard tests (e. g., Natural Deduction or Truth-Trees) to assess the validity of arguments expressed in Predicate Calculus
  •  Demonstrate knowledge of the scope and limits of formalized and mechanical approaches to the analysis of reasoning