Enhancing Introductory Symbolic Logic with Student-Centered Discussion Projects

Teaching Philosophy 27 (1):45-59 (2004)
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Abstract

This paper describes two collaborative projects that illustrate the value of learning symbolic logic and provide students (and instructors) a break from the routine work of learning new symbols or proof techniques. The first project has students work together to reconstruct the argument in Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”. This project has the benefit of showing students that what they are reading in college has an underlying logical structure and that their knowledge of conditionals, conjunctions, etc. functions in real, argumentative discourse. The second project introduces students to four key concepts: self-reference, paradox, and metatheory, and then exposes them to key metatheoretic concepts (consistency and completeness) and to Gödel’s incompleteness proof.

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