220 Syllabus


One of the most important tools of philosophy has always been our systems of logic.  Symbolic logic is a tool used to reveal and analyze the structure of our claims and arguments.  Symbolic logic reveals the structure that lies behind our assertions, and gives us a systematic way of testing our claims and arguments for validity and consistency.  The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to symbolic logic as contemporary analytic philosophers use it.

Instructor information:

Brandon Gillette

Office: Garvey 233 (in the philosophy department office)

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11:00-noon and 1:00-2:00, and by appointment. Most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I’ll be in and around the office until at least 3:00 or 4:00.

Email: brandon.gillette@wasburn.edu

Note: Email is the best way to contact me. A distant second is the department mailbox. Also, most times I am just in my office during the day. Feel free to stop by at any time. You may also talk to me or email to set up an appointment if you are unable to see me during office hours. If you know what my office phone extension is, that’s cool. If the phone in my office rings while I’m in my office, I’ll give it a surprised look and answer it apprehensively.


3 exams (see schedule):

  • Exam 1: 23% of the total grade
  • Exam 2: 22% of the total grade
  • Final Exam: 30% of the total grade


  • Completion: 15%
    • Some homework assignments are for problems whose answers are provided by the textbook authors.  I collect and record the completeness of these assignments, but I do not check these assignments for correctness (because they should all be correct given that answers are provided).
  • Correctness: 10%
    • Some homework assignments are for problems whose answers are not provided by the textbook authors.  I will grade and return these assignments.

Grading Scale:

The numerical scores corresponding with the letter grades will be as follows. When final scores are calculated, I will round to the nearest whole number.

  • 100-90 A
  • 89-80 B
  • 79-70 C
  • 69-60 D
  • 59-0 F


I will keep track of attendance for my records. While there is not a grade specifically assigned to attendance, any quizzes missed cannot be made up (see Lateness/Make-Up policy below for exceptions). Attendance is perhaps the greatest predictor of success or failure for a course of this kind.  The skills required to understand and use symbolic logic are incremental; one skill or concept must be mastered before the next.  Missing one or more of these items altogether will manifest itself in poor homework and later, exam grades.  Many professors will tell you how important regular attendance is.  They say it because it is true.

Lateness/Make-up Policy:

I realize that sometimes things happen that are out of your control.  Make-up exams or quizzes will be permitted only under the appropriate circumstances at the discretion of the instructor, and may be offered for reduced credit. The earlier I am notified about an upcoming absence, the more likely it is that a make-up exam or quiz will be allowed.  In the event that you know you will miss an exam day, you may be permitted to take an exam early, provided I am notified well in advance.  Notifying me in advance of absences may also enable taking a quiz earlier or later.  Documentation of medical-related absences is strongly encouraged.

Course Text:

The Logic Book by Bergmann, Moor and Nelson, 5th edition.  The ISBN is 978-0-07-353. The book is available in the University Bookstore and elsewhere. Please obtain this book as soon as is possible.

Important Dates:

  • No Class: January 21, March 18,20,22
  • Exam Dates: February 15, March 15, Final Exam Day
  • Last Class Day: May 3
  • Final Exam Date: TBA
  • Last day for Withdrawal: March 29


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Washburn University enriches the lives of students by providing opportunities for them to develop and to realize their intellectual, academic, and professional potential, leading to becoming productive and responsible citizens. We are committed to excellence in teaching, scholarly work, quality academic and professional programs, and high levels of faculty-student interaction. We develop and engage in relationships to enhance educational experiences and our community. Washburn University Board of Regents, 2010

Definition of a Credit Hour:
For every credit hour awarded for a course, the student is typically expected to complete approximately one hour of classroom instruction, online interaction with course material, or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two additional hours of student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.

Academic Misconduct Policy:
All students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and ethically in their academic work. Inappropriate and unethical behavior includes (but is not limited to) giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of papers or other assignments, or knowingly misrepresenting the source of academic work. Washburn University’s Academic Impropriety Policy describes academically unethical behavior in greater detail and explains the actions that may be taken when such behavior occurs. For guidelines regarding protection of copyright, consult http://www.washburn.edu/statements-disclosures/copyright/index.html. For a complete copy of the Academic Impropriety Policy, contact the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center Suite 200, or go on-line to: http://www.washburn.edu/faculty-staff/faculty-resources/faculty-handbook/faculty-handbook-section-7.html.

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The Student Services Office is responsible for assisting in arranging accommodations and for identifying resources on campus for persons with disabilities. Qualified students with disabilities must register with the office to be eligible for services. The office MUST have appropriate documentation on file in order to provide services. Accommodations may include in-class note takers, test readers and/or scribes, adaptive computer technology, brailled materials. Requests for accommodations should be submitted at least two months before services should begin; however, if you need an accommodation this semester, please contact the Student Services Office immediately.

Location: Student Services, Morgan Hall Room 135 (new location)
Phone: 785-670-1629 or TDD 785-670-1025
E-Mail: student-services@washburn.edu

Students may voluntarily identify themselves to the instructor for a referral to the Student Services Office.

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As a Washburn student, you may experience difficulty with issues such as studying, personal problems, time management, or choice of major, classes, or employment. The Office of Academic Advising is available to help students either directly through academic advising, mentoring, testing and developing learning strategies or by identifying the appropriate University resource. If you feel you need someone with whom to discuss an issue confidentially and free of charge, contact Academic Advising in Morgan 122, 785-670-1942, advising@washburn.edu.
Withdrawal Policy:
During fall and spring semesters, students may go online and withdraw from full semester courses through the second week of class with no recorded grade. From the third through the eleventh week a “W” is recorded for any dropped course. After the eleventh week, there are NO withdrawals, and a grade will be assigned for the course. These deadlines will be different for short-term, out-of-sequence, or summer courses. To view the deadline dates for your courses visit the “Last Day” Deadlines web page at: https://www2-prod.washburn.edu/self-service/coursedates.php Depending on the timing of the request to withdraw from a course, students may be responsible for repaying all or a portion of their financial aid. Students who do not attend their courses and fail to officially withdraw themselves will receive a grade of “F” and may also be required to repay all or a portion of their financial aid based on their non-attendance. For further information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 785.670.1151 or e-mail financialaid @washburn.edu.
Attendance/Administrative Withdrawal:
Although it is the student’s responsibility to initiate course withdrawals, an instructor, after due notice to the student, may request withdrawal of the student from a course because of nonattendance through the same date as the last day a student may withdraw from a course. This would NOT absolve the student of financial responsibility for tuition/fees for the course in question. The inclusion of this information in the course syllabus is considered due notice.
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Success Week:
Success Week for undergraduate students is designated as the five week days preceding the first day of scheduled final examinations each Fall and Spring semester. Success Week is intended to provide students ample opportunity to prepare for final examinations. For academic programs, the following guidelines apply:
A. Faculty are encouraged to utilize Success Week as a time for review of course material in preparation for the final examination. If an examination is to be given during Success Week, it must not be given in the last three days of Success Week unless approved by the Dean or Department Chair. Assignments worth no more than 10% of the final grade and covering no more than one-fourth of assigned reading material in the course may be given.
B. Major course assignments (extensive research papers, projects, etc.) should be due on or before the Friday prior to Success Week and should be assigned early in the semester. Any modifications to assignments should be made in a timely fashion to give students adequate time to complete the assignments.
C. If major course assignments must be given during Success Week, they should be due in the first three days of Success Week. Exceptions include class presentations by students and semester-long projects such as a project assignment in lieu of a final. Participation and attendance grades are acceptable.

The Success Week policy excludes make-up assignments, make-up tests, take-home final exams, and laboratory examinations. It also does not apply to classes meeting one day a week for more than one hour. All University laboratory classes are exempt from this policy.