Syllabus for Methods of Reasoning, Spring 1999


How To Reach Professor Korcz:
My office is in H. L. Griffin Hall, room 563. My office hours are MWF 1:00 - 2:55 and TTh 12:20 -2:20. We can also meet at other times by arrangement - just ask. My office phone number is 482-6806. You can also contact me (or ask questions) by e-mail at:

Required Texts:
Critical Thinking, Fifth Edition by Brooke Noel Moore and Richard Parker

How To Think About Weird Things, Second Edition by Theodore Schick, Jr. and Lewis Vaughn

These should be available at the USL Student Bookstore.

Assignments & Grading:
There will be 5 in class quizzes (together worth roughly 20% of the course grade) two midterms (each worth roughly 25% of your course grade) and a cumulative final exam (worth roughly 30% of your course grade).
Your course grades will initially be determined according to the standard scale, i.e., 90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, 59% and below = F or U, and then may be modified as follows: Such factors as improvement over the length of the course, class participation, attendance, etc., may be taken into consideration, especially where doing so may improve a borderline grade. Course grades might be curved, but if so, the curve would not be such that any student's grade is lowered. You must complete all course assignments to receive a passing grade (i.e., a grade other than F, NC or U).

Class Policies:
If you miss class, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to get class notes from another student. Missed exams or other assignments can be made up only if an appropriate excuse, e.g., illness requiring medical attention, participation in certain official university events, etc., is provided. If you know in advance that you will miss an exam or due date for an assignment, please let me know beforehand. Unexcused late exams and homework will be accepted, but will be dropped 2/3 of a letter grade per day they are late. Unexcused late homework assignments turned in after they have been discussed in class will automatically receive a "0", but still must be properly completed and turned in to avoid failing the class. If you have a disability and would like assistance with fulfilling class assignments, don't hesitate to notify the instructor and the Office for Services to Students With Disabilities at 482-5252. Finally, be sure you are familiar with the University policies, rules and regulations  described in the USL Undergraduate Bulletin. Any act of academic dishonesty on any assignment will result in the student's failing the class.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures:
A map of this floor is posted near the elevator marking the evacuation route and the Designated Rescue Area. This is an area where emergency service personnel will go first to look for individuals who need assistance in exiting the building. Students who may need assistance should identify themselves to the teaching faculty.

Course Calendar & Planned Reading Assignments*

(CT) = Critical Thinking, 5th edition
(HWT) = How To Think About Weird Things, Second Edition

Topic 1: Basic Concepts of Logic
MONDAY, JAN. 18: Martin Luther King Holiday - NO CLASSES
Jan. 14, Week of Jan. 18: (CT): Chapters 1 and 8, (HWT) Chapters 1 and 4.

Topic 2: Categorical Logic
Weeks of Jan. 25, Feb. 1 and Feb. 8: (CT) Chapter 9.

Topic 3: Truth-Functional Logic
MONDAY - WED., FEB. 15-17: Mardi Gras Holiday - NO CLASSES
Weeks of Feb. 15, Feb. 22 and March 1: (CT): Chapter 10, p. 310-336.


Topic 4: Informal Modal Logic/ Knight & Knave Puzzles
Week of March 8: (HWT): Chapter 2.

Topic 5: The Nature of Knowledge
Week of March 8 (continued): (HWT): Chapter 5.

Topic 6: Informal Fallacies , Perceptual Illusions & Quirks of the Mind
Weeks of March 15, March 22 and March 29: (CT): Chapter 5, pages 135-6,141-2, 143-145 & 149-151; and Chapter 6.
Week of April 5: (HWT): Chapters 3 and 6.


Topic 7: Inductive Logic
Week of April 12: (CT): Chapter 11.
Week of April 19: (CT): Chapter 12.

Topic 8: Scientific Reasoning
Week of April 26: (HWT): Chapter 7.

Tuesday, May 4: Study Day - No Classes

*NOTE: Topics, readings, course procedures and due dates for assignments are tentative and subject to change.

for 9:30 class: SATURDAY, MAY 8 FROM 7:30 - 10:00 AM
for 11:00 class: THURSDAY, MAY 6 AT 1:30 - 4:30 PM