Philosophy (PHIL) 254

Symbolic Logic (Revision 1)

PHIL 254 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PHIL 254 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Philosophy 254: Symbolic Logic is a junior-level, three-credit course that provides an introduction to formal methods of evaluating reasoning. It will teach you how to translate English arguments into symbolic notation, and then how to evaluate these symbolic arguments to determine if they are logically valid.


The course is divided into sixteen modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Logic
  • Module 2: The Structure of Sentential Logic
  • Module 3: Computing Truth Values
  • Module 4: Symbolizing English Sentences
  • Module 5: Truth Tables for Testing Validity
  • Module 6: Further Applications of the Truth Table Method
  • Module 7: The Proof Method: Eight Basic Inference Rules
  • Module 8: Replacement Rules
  • Module 9: Conditional Proof and Indirect Proof
  • Module 10: Singular Sentences
  • Module 11: Quantifiers
  • Module 12: Categorical Propositions
  • Module 13: Complex Subjects and Predicates
  • Module 14: Quantifier Form and Truth-Functional Compounds of Quantifier Statements
  • Module 15: Proofs in Predicate Logic
  • Module 16: Invalidity in Quantifier Logic

Learning Outcomes

Philosophy 254: Symbolic Logic is an introductory course in the formal techniques of argument analysis and evaluation. When you have completed the course you should be able to:

  • symbolize English sentences and arguments in the symbolic notation of sentential logic and monadic predicate logic;
  • use truth tables to determine whether arguments in sentential arguments are valid or invalid;
  • use proofs to show that arguments in sentential or predicate logic are valid;
  • use natural interpretations and model universes to show that arguments in predicate logic are invalid.


The final mark in Philosophy 254: Symbolic Logic will be based on grades on the three pieces of written work specified below, plus the exam. To receive credit for this course, you must submit every assignment using the drop boxes on the course home page, receive an average grade of 50% on this work, and receive a grade of at least 50% on the final exam. All assignments are graded out of 100%.

Assignment Due % Toward Final Grade
Assignment 1 This exercise is to be written after you have completed Unit 6. 15%
Assignment 2 This exercise is to be written after you have completed Unit 9. 20%
Assignment 3 This exercise is to be written after you have completed Unit 16. 25%
Final Exam The final examination will cover the entire course. It is a three-hour examination, to be written under formal examination conditions, with no notes or books except a small dictionary. Questions will be of the same sort as those in the exercise sections of the units, so the best way to prepare is to be sure you can confidently answer all the questions in the exercise sections. 40%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

Print Material

Klenk, Virginia. Understanding Symbolic Logic. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2008.

Athabasca University Online Material

Philosophy 254: Symbolic Logic—Course Information. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University, 2013.

Philosophy 254: Symbolic Logic—Study Guide. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University, 2013.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PHIL 254 challenge registration, you must achieve an overall grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

Written Assignment Final Exam
30% 70%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, April 18, 2013.

Updated May 26 2016 by SAS