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Questions about specific courses

Submitted by nnreimer on Tue, 08/23/2016 - 6:01pm

I'm a Computer Science Major, why do I have to take Phil 279?

PHIL 279 introduces both propositional and first-order predicate logic, and requires students to use a formal proof system (the nature of which might vary from section to section) in order to prove theorems in both types of logic.  By doing so, it introduces material that is fundamental to computer architecture and to the idea of computability.  Furthermore, almost any attempt to consider the correctness of computer programs, or specification of requirements, in a formal way is based on mathematical logic.  It's also absolutely essential for an understanding of issues, problems, and methods in artificial intelligence.  PHIL 279 (or the equivalent, PHIL 377) is a prerequisite for a number of required courses.  You will not be able to register in a course for which it is a prerequisite unless you pass with a C- or better.  These courses include:

· CPSC 313, Introduction to Computability.  This course is a required course for Computer Science majors, and either required or strongly recommended for a number of further CPSC courses such as CPSC 411 (Compiler Construction I), CPSC 413 (Design and Analysis of Algorithms I, itself a prerequisite for a number of higher-level courses), CPSC 433 (Artificial Intelligence), CPSC 510 (Compiler Construction II), CPSC 513 (Computability), CPSC 521 (Functional Programming), CPSC 528 (Spam and Spyware)

· CPSC 449, Programming Paradigms.

· CPSC 359, Computing Machinery II.

· PHIL 379, Logic II, required for the BSc Honours and the BA in Computer Science.

I'm a Philosophy Major, but I'm only really interested in ethics/philosophy of science/logic/continental philosophy etc. Why do I have to take logic/continental philosophy/ethics/philosophy of science etc?

The BA and BA Honours Programs in Philosophy are designed to give students a broad background that will enable them to engage profitably with any area of contemporary philosophy. Philosophy is a discipline that favours individuals with a traditional broad based liberal arts education, rather than early specialization. Furthermore, no area of philosophy stands alone. All parts of philosophy are informed by other areas, and you will have a greater understanding of your particular area of interest if you can place that in context. Additionally, the area of philosophy that interests you now may not be the area that interests you in the future.

What is a Reading course (Phil 595)? How do I enroll in a section of Phil 595?

A reading course is a specially offered course that covers material not covered by the standard courses. It also has lower contact hours than a regular course (usually an hour a week), and correspondingly more readings (thus the name). Such courses must be specially arranged with the instructor. Enrollment in such a course is usually restricted to a small number of students. You must have permission from the instructor to enroll in a section of 595.

How do I enroll in the Honours thesis course (Phil 590)?

Honours students wishing to enroll in Phil 590 must get permission from the Honours Advisor. In order to get such permission the student must have secured a thesis supervisor.

See the page on the Honours Program.

What is the difference between Philosophy 275 and Philosophy 279?

The difference between Philosophy 275 and Philosophy 279: Logic deals with the structure of arguments, good and bad. Philosophy 279 concentrates more on the formal and symbolic aspects of arguments. In it students will study sentential logic (the branch of logic that covers arguments involving whole sentences) and quantificational logic (the branch of logic that deals with the formal structure of arguments involving sentence content). In addition Philosophy 279/377 considers the metatheory of logic: the results we gain when we consider theorems about systems as a whole, and not just results within the system. Topics that may be treated include questions about the consistency and completeness of various logical systems. Philosophy 275 on the other hand restricts its treatment of the formal side of logic to sentential logic, without metatheory, and offers as well an introduction to informal logic (sometimes called critical thinking): the treatment of arguments good and bad as they occur in ordinary discourse. In Philosophy 275 topics concerning probabilistic reasoning and induction, as well as topics concerning reasoning in various scientific contexts may also be discussed. One of Philosophy 279, Philosophy 377 is required for a major in Philosophy.

What is the difference between Philosophy 279, Logic I, and Philosophy 377, Elementary Formal Logic?

The difference between Philosophy 279 and Philosophy 377: The content of these two courses is the same. Philosophy 377 classes have a smaller number of students, but lack tutorials. When either is required as a prerequisite, or to fulfil a degree requirement, the other may be substituted. Students may receive credit for only one of Philosophy 279 or Philosophy 377. First year students may not take 300 level courses, and second year students and beyond should note that a Faculty of Humanities degree may not include more than eight FCEs at the junior level.

Is it possible to receive credit for both Philosophy 275 and Philosophy 279?

Students who already have credit for Philosophy 275 may receive credit for Philosophy 279/377, but students who have received credit for Philosophy 279 or Philosophy 377 (or any higher logic course) may not receive credit for Philosophy 275.

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