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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL2122 Formal Logic

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Professor John Divers

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

PHIL 1250


PHIL1250How to Think Clearly and Argue Well

This module is mutually exclusive with

MATH2040Mathematical Logic 1

Module replaces

PHIL2010 Formal Logic

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is only available as a discovery module for students studying on Linguistics, Mathematics and Computing modules with relevant prerequisites.Throughout the history of philosophy, philosophers have been keen to identify the principles of logic: those most general principles that we can always rely on not to take us wrong. You will learn about rigorous methods for proving whether an argument is valid or invalid. You will learn how to reason formally about a formal system. You will learn about modern developments in non-classical logic. This module will be of use and interest to mathematicians and computer scientists. But it should also be of use and interest to anyone who is interested in how we can rigorously establish conclusions: the formal study of logic is not some abstract technical theory, but a tool for sharpening our own thinking. There is no area of study in which argument is not important, and therefore no area of study in which knowledge of logic cannot help.The module is taught through lectures and tutorials and assessed by a final exam.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Formalize natural language arguments in first-order quantified logic.
2. Use a proof system (axiomatic, natural deduction, or truth trees) to complete derivations with formulas involving both connectives and quantifiers.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of model-theoretic notions like validity and invalidity, and be able to recognize a countermodel for invalid formulas and arguments.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of basic metatheoretical claims about first-order proof systems, like e.g. soundness and completeness.


1. Revision: translation into a formal system and truth tables.
2. Introduction of a proof system for propositional first-order logic.
3. Introduction of a proof system for quantified first-order logic.
4. Basic metatheory: statement of soundness and completeness theorems for first-order logic.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours173.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Lecture preparation: 74 hours
- Tutorial preparation: 49 hours
- Exam preparation: 50 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be a mock exam paper distributed in eighth week for those who want one.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/10/2019


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