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The following syllabus page is a three column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.

Contact Information

  • Leemon McHenry
  • Philosophy
  • leemon.mchenry@csun.edu
  • Office Hours: TTh 8:30-9:00, 11:00-12:00 (and by appointment)
  • ST 516

Instructional Materials

Required Texts:

Patrick J. Hurley, A Concise Introduction to Logic, Thomson/Wadsworth, 2007 (Tenth edition)


Ronald N. Giere, Understanding Scientific Reasoning, Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006 (Fifth edition)




Learning Logic 5.0 (on CD-ROM)


Print Version of Syllabus

Review Exam1 pdf

Review Exam2 pdf

Important Notices

Exam I -- 8 Oct, 2009

Exam II -- 8 Dec, 2009



Class Accommodations

Students with Disabilities:


If you have a disability, please identify yourself to me and to the University so that we can reasonably accommodate your learning and the preparation and evaluation of the work that you must do for this course.  Please contact the Center on Disabilities, Student Services Building, Room 110, 818.677.2684 (fax: 818.677.4932; email: sdr@csun.edu). For more information, visit the COD’s website at the following address: http://www.csun.edu/cod.



Course Information Overview

Reasoning in the Sciences





The concepts, methods, and limitations involved in the systematic procedures of empirical inquiry in the sciences and in ordinary thought, e.g., probability, measurement, causal relations, statistical inference, the concepts of “law” and “theory.”


Prerequisites: Completion of GE Section A.1 (Analytical Reasoning/Expository Writing); Either GE Section A.3 (Mathematics) or MATH 210.




This course satisfies the Critical Thinking component of the Basic Skill section of the General Education Program, which recognizes critical reasoning as a fundamental competence. Courses in this section of General Education take reasoning itself as their focus.  This course in particular examines inductive logic and focuses on the concept of probability in scientific reasoning.  After learning methods of reasoning in genuine scientific inquiry, we apply critical thinking stills by investigating marginal cases and pseudoscience. 





1.  Exam 1 (30%) --The exam includes multiple choice, true/false questions and short answers to logical problems. 


2.  Quizzes (30%) –There are approximately 8 quizzes. You are allowed to drop the lowest quiz grade.  The remainder will be averaged for 30% of your final grade.  Quizzes provide continuous feedback on the course material and prepare you for the exams.


3.  Participation/Attendance (10%) --Attendance will be taken at each class session. Participation will be judged on the basis of your willingness to take an active role in the class, e.g., response to exercises and discussion of lecture material.


4.  Exam 2 (30%) --Comprehensive but focusing attention on the last half of the course material. The second exam covers propositional logic that involves basic concepts learned throughout the course.  There is no Final Exam in the course.