PHIL208-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

The Brain Gym: An Introduction to Logic

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


An introduction to logical reasoning, critical analysis, and the art of proof.

This course provides a hands-on introduction to the core ideas of logical reasoning. Learn how to reason deductively and learn how to PROVE your conclusions. It's challenging, it's great exercise for your brain, and it's a valuable life skill.

You are going to learn propositional logic, quantifier logic, natural deduction, and what are called 'resolution trees'. In the final part of the course you will also look at some or all of: modal logic, the logic of time, epistemic logic, the logic of ethics, and logic for artificially intelligent drones.

As a reality check, here are the names of some great logicians: Sherlock Holmes; Kurt Gödel, who proved that truth is different from proof and that mathematics is forever incomplete; Alan Turing, who invented the universal computer, and broke the Germans' Enigma code; Lotfi Zadeh, who invented fuzzy logic, used to control domestic appliances, trains, and industrial processes; and UC's own foundation professor of philosophy Arthur Prior, who believed that only the present is real and who pioneered the logic of time.

Not only is philosophy one of the most interesting and challenging subjects, it teaches skills that employers want: thinking outside the box, logic, ethics, and excellent writing and communication skills. At UC you can do either a BA or a BSc in Philosophy, or combine a Philosophy major with the LLB, BCom, or another degree.

BA or BSc students who major in philosophy must normally take at least two 100-level PHIL courses, plus at least three 200-level PHIL courses (including PHIL233), plus at least 60-points from 300-level PHIL courses (including at least one course from this list: PHIL305; PHIL310; PHIL311; and PHIL317). For more information see the BA regulations and/or the BSc regulations.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Any 15 points at 100 level in PHIL, COSC, LING, MATH, or
from the BE(Hons), or
any 60 points at 100 level from any subject.


PHIL225, PHIL246, PHIL346, PHIL308, MATH208, MATH308

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 14:00 - 15:00 C3 Lecture Theatre (20/2-27/2)
E9 Lecture Theatre (5/3)
Jack Erskine 443 (12/3-26/3, 23/4-28/5)
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 11:00 - 12:00 E6 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 24 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 09:00 - 10:00 Jack Erskine 121
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
02 Monday 10:00 - 11:00 Jack Erskine 121
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
03 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 121
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun

Course Coordinator

Jack Copeland

Contact Jack for further information.


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Test 1 25%
Test 2 25%
Test 3 25%
Test 4 25%

There is no final examination in this course.

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Course links

Library portal
Philosophy Essay Writing Guide (available to all enrolled Philosophy students)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All PHIL208 Occurrences

  • PHIL208-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024
  • PHIL208-24S1 (D) Semester One 2024 (Distance)