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University of York

Logic: The Language of Truth

University of York via FutureLearn


Understand and evaluate arguments using philosophical theory

If you believe Mickey is a big mouse and Dumbo is a small elephant, then you must also believe that Mickey is a mouse and Dumbo is an elephant.

But, do you believe that Mickey is bigger than Dumbo?

On this course, you’ll consider the logic behind this argument and explore the concept that when something is true, other things have to be true too.

You’ll discover logical reasoning theory and explore the vital role words like and, or, not, and if play in making good or bad arguments.

You’ll also learn how philosophers use a formal language to assess arguments and look closely at how our everyday language and thinking works.

The course is primarily designed for those studying philosophy, maths, or science at A-level or university.

The course will also be of interest to anyone who’d like to learn more about these subjects and the systematic study of good and bad reasoning

Learners require a basic understanding of formal logic and a keen interest to learn.

There is no need for any specialist tools beyond a pen and paper!


  • Bringing logic into focus
    • Welcome
    • What is logic?
    • Our key concept: deductive validity
    • Truth and what arguments are made from
    • A closer look at validity
    • Formal validity and logical form
  • Formal languages and natural languages
    • Logical form
    • Natural languages and formal languages
    • Starting to build our formal language
    • Our project
    • Investigating the relationship between '&' and 'and'
    • What words mean and what we mean by using them
  • Complex sentences and logical properties
    • Expanding our formal language
    • Complex sentences and structural ambiguity
    • Our third connective: vel
    • Logical laws and logical relationships
  • Evaluating arguments
    • Conditionals and arrow
    • Investigating the relationship between arrow and 'if … then … '
    • Testing for validity with truth-tables
    • And finally …

Taught by

Tom Stoneham


4.3 rating at FutureLearn based on 51 ratings

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