Logic: Language and Information

Subject UNIB10002 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours - 2 x 1 hour lectures each week of semester and 1 x 2 hours workshops for 11 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Shawn Standefer, Prof Greg Restall


Greg Restall

Shawn Standefer

Subject Overview:

Information is everywhere: in our words and our world, our thoughts and our theories, our devices and our databases. Logic is the study of that information: the features it has, how it's represented, and how we can manipulate it. Learning logic helps you formulate and answer questions about information:

* Does this hypothesis clash with the evidence we have or is it consistent with the evidence?

* Is this argument watertight, or do we need to add more to make the conclusion to really follow from the premises?

* Do these two sentences say the same things in different ways, or do they say something subtly different?

* Is this information belong to in my database, and what procedure could we use to get the answer quickly?

* Is there a more cost-effective design for this digital circuit? And how can we specify what the circuit is meant to do so we could check that this design does what we want?

These are questions about Logic. When you learn logic you'll learn to recognise patterns of information and the way it can be represented. These skills are used whether we're dealing with theories, databases, digital circuits, meaning in language, or mathematical reasoning, and they will be used in the future in ways we haven't yet imagined.

If you take this subject, you will learn how to use the core tools in logic: the idea of a formal language, which gives us a way to talk about logical structure; and we'll introduce and explain the central logical concepts such as consistency and validity; models; and proofs in propositional and predicate logic. But you won't just learn concepts and tools. We will also explore how these techniques connect with problems in linguistics, computer science, electronic engineering, mathematics and philosophy.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • develop and demonstrate and understanding of the core features of propositional and predicate logic, including translating into and out of the formal languages; manipulating models and proof trees, and using these to make simple judgements concerning validity, consistency, equivalence, etc.;
  • develop a command of the different ways formal logic can be applied in problems in computer science, digital systems, linguistics, mathematics and philosophy;
  • work in groups to clarify problems, apply reasoning techniques to different issues, and to critically evaluate the results;
  • construct arguments and answer questions, bringing together both formal and informal reasoning techniques—to clarify issues, analyse options and propose solutions.
  • Online homework tasks, completed throughout the semester (24%)
  • Three written group work project tasks, completed throughout the semester (21%)
  • Workshop participation, throughout the semester (5%)
  • A 3 hour written exam, held in the end of semester examination period (50%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of workshops in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Greg Restall, Logic (Routledge 2006). A collection of other texts will be made available online.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: http://shaps.unimelb.edu.au/philosophy

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