PHL 1000: An Introduction to Logic

Department of Philosophy
Oakland University

John Halpin
750 MSC
248 370 2264 (not used much for Fall 2022)


Welcome to Oakland's PHL 1000. This course meets Oakland University requirements for General Education in formal reasoning: We'll study reason and argument. The idea is to show how clarification of thinking through symbolic techniques can help ones logical intuitions and so improve reasoning skills.

Here are the most important matters:
  • This class is online with exams by ProctorU. The bulk of the work is on your own working throught the course textbook, doing homework, participating in online Virtual problem sessions, or online/over-the-phone office hours.
    Midterm Exam: Wednesday 1pm Wednesday October 12 - 1pm Thursday October 13 ONLINE
    Final Exam: Friday 1pm Friday December 10 - 1pm Saturday December 11 ONLINE

  • The textbook is online: This is called "The Logic Cafe" because it's based on JavaScript and related programming.  This is the most important work for learning logic.
  • We'll use Moodle to keep track of our work through the Cafe. Sign in at
  • Browser? Most any will do. In all cases:
    • Allow pop-ups for the Cafe.
    • Allow cookies.
  • Most of your work will be in this Logic Cafe textbook. But we'll also have discussions/postings and quizzes in Moodle. The posting's are scheduled for each topic with an odd number (i.e., for weeks one, three, etc.) and quizzes for even numbered weeks. Moodle quizzes have real can't miss them!
  • We will have a required Online Lecture each week. And frequent but optional Zoom problem sessions/discussions/virtual office hours scheduled at various days and times. If you aren't available for an Zoom session, you can watch a recording. Required: coming to or veiwing the recordings of at least five Zoom sessions.
  • Grade details are below. But mostly, you need to do the postings and quizzes weekly, the midterm and the final. Along the way there are a few points to earn working your way through the Logic Cafe and by viewing the Online Lectures.
       Homework is essential as a study tool for the exams (55% of the course grade!) though most of the homework is itself ungraded. The only graded part is found in the postings.
      The two exams will be done using ProctorU following standard OU guidelines. See the instructional video here.



(See Moodle Topic-by-Topic for updates and details)

Important: Each week is numbered below.

  1. Assignments with Roman numerals are for the Logic Cafe chapter numbers; each is followed by a range of numbers for tutorials.
  2. Your most important homework is doing the tutorials and all associated quizzes and exercises in the Cafe. These are ungraded but the exams (60% of your grade) come directly from them.
  3. Odd numbered weeks (e.g., Topic 1) will have Moodle Postings due by its end.
  4. Even numbered weeks each require a Moodle Quiz. The Moodle Quiz has a serious deadline...Sunday at 11:59pm for each even numbered week! You can work on any Moodle Quiz as long as you'd like, even save your work and come back later. Still, you must "Submit" your answers before Sunday night and you may Submit only once. The first submission counts! (Moodle quizzes are completely different for the quizzes in the Logic Cafe online textbook. All work in the textbook is ungraded.)

So, Topic 1 is associated with chapter 1, tutorials 1 through 2. Do the homework exercises as you read through each tutorial. AND a posting is due: you'll need to post one argument "diagram". That posting is exercise 1.1c. Make sure you post a response to at least on person.

Posting is meant to be a no-stress matter. Do these to learn and (optionally) discuss with others. Credit is pretty easy so long as you do the posting. However, Topic 2 has a must-do-on-time Moodle Quiz.


Topic 1: I 1-2 (posting: 1.1c)
Topic 2: I 3-4 (Moodle quiz)
Topic 3: II 1-3 (posting: 2.1b)
Topic 4: II 4-5, IV 1 (Moodle quiz)
Topic 5: III 1, IV 2-3 (posting: 3.1b)
Topic 6: IV 4-5, V 1 (Moodle quiz)
Topic 7: III 2, V 2 (posting: 5.1a, midterm!)

Midterm Exam by ProctorU during Topic 7.

Topic 8: V 3-4 (Moodle quiz)
Topic 9: III 3, V 5 (posting: 3.2a)
Topic 10: V 6, 7, VI 1 (Moodle quiz) 
Topic 11: III 4, VI 2 (posting: 3.4b)
Topic 12: VI 3-5, VII 1, (Moodle quiz)
Topic 13: III 5, VII 2 (posting: 3.5c)
Topic 14: VII 3, (Moodle quiz)

Final Exam ( after the week 14 period by ProctorU)

Grades with percentage weights: 5% each for Moodle Postings, Posting commentaries, Zoom attendance, Online Lecture attendance, and cafe checks, 22.5% for weekly Moodle quizzes, 20% for the midterm, 32.5% for the final. The course grade will be based on the new (2019) OU scale.

   Homework is essential as a study tool for the exams (60% of the course grade!), but the postings are the only part of the homework that can be graded. Reply to at least one other person about his or her posting.

Moodle Help: If you need assistance with the Moodle and using your computer, try e-Learning at OU, or 248-370-4566.

Cheating (including plagiarism) is a serious offense. I've seen students suspended lately by the Academic Conduct Committee. They are getting very tough! If you're not sure what counts as appropriate help to or from fellow students, just ask me. And see the OU catalog for details.

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4 Credits

Course Catalog Description:

We examine the relationship between conclusions and statements given in support of them. In addition to elementary deductive and inductive logic, topics may include analysis of ordinary arguments, arguments by analogy and informal fallacies.
This class satisfies the University General Education requirement in Formal Reasoning.

General Education Learning Outcomes:

1. The student will demonstrate knowledge of one or more formal reasoning systems of logic in evaluating arguments.
2. The student will demonstrate application of formal reasoning to read, understand, model
and solve problems across a variety of writing and argumentative applications.

Cross-Cutting Capacities:
This course serves the cross-cutting capacities of critical thinking and effective communication. Critical thinking is present in all parts of the course, in identifying premises and conclusions of arguments, in clarifying meanings of statements, in translating arguments into formal or symbolic form (in syllogistic logic or in propositional logic) and in assessing the strength of arguments. Effective communication is thereby also enhanced, particularly communication involved in presenting one’s own arguments and in effectively responding to the arguments of others (verbally or in writing).