Preparing for Exams



Class Schedule

Course Description

Lecture Notes


Printouts You’ll Need

Supplementary Exercises


Philosophy 120A
Autumn 2007

Guidelines for MidTerm Exam


  • The exam will cover chapters 1-8 (pp. 19–223) of LPL.

  • The exam is on Friday, October 26, 2007.

  • You must bring a (purple) Standard Answer Sheet (“bubble-sheet”) and #2 pencil. Do not use ink on the exam!

  • Please fill out your vital statistics (course name and number, your name, etc.) on the bubble sheet before the exam. Include your section number (AA, AB, etc.). If you need to look it up, be sure to do so. Fill in the bubbles carefully so that your results get correctly credited to you.

  • You may bring scratch paper, but no books or notes.


The format will be multiple choice. On each question there will be only one correct answer. On some questions, some answers may be partially correct; but a partially correct answer will not be given partial credit. It is never correct to fill in more than one “bubble” on the answer sheet. You will receive zero credit for any answer on which more than one bubble is filled in.

Topics to be covered are:

  1. Truth-tables: You will need to know how to read a truth table, and to understand what a truth table shows and how to evaluate a table you are presented with. (You will not actually have to construct any tables, unless you need to do so to help you answer other questions.)

  2. Tarski Worlds: You will need to be able to determine the truth-value of a given FOL sentence in a particular world. (You will be looking at pictures of Tarski worlds.) Since you will not have the TW program running, you will have to figure this out on your own, without the benefit of playing the game with TW. If you have been relying on TW to tell you whether an FOL sentence is true or false, you may need to practice this to be sure you can do it on your own.

  3. Fitch proofs: Since you will not have Fitch running, you will not be required to construct any proofs. But you will have to recognize and explain the steps in an incomplete Fitch proof you will be shown. You will need to provide justifications (rule and line citations) if they are missing, or provide the steps (if they are missing) based on rule and line citations and on subsequent developments in the proof.

  4. Translation: You will be given English sentences and be asked to select the correct FOL translation, and vice versa. You will need to be aware of different equivalent ways of translating from English to FOL, and vice versa. Here are some practice problems in translation.
  5. Equivalence: You will need to be able to determine whether or not a pair of FOL sentences you are presented with are equivalent. This will come up in a context in which you are presented with a number of pairs of sentences and asked to pick out the equivalent pairs. For help in recognizing equivalent sentences, print out a copy of the file Some handy truth-table equivalences. (You can’t bring it with you to the exam, though!)

  6. Theory: A number of questions will test your understanding of concepts such as the following: valid argument, sound argument, inconsistent set of sentences (e.g., inconsistent premises), atomic sentence, literal, tautology, TT-contradiction, TT-possible, logical necessity (logical truth), TW-necessity, logical consequence, tautological consequence, equivalence, tautological equivalence, soundness of a deductive system (such as system F), completeness of a deductive system. Memorizing definitions will not be adequate — you will need to understand the concepts and how they are interrelated, and to identify instances of them. These theory topics are very important — they will make up 40% of the exam.

Now it’s time to put your study to work. Take the practice quiz on logical theory. If you find that you can't read all of the logical symbols on the quiz, you may need to add a font to your computer. To get the font you need, click here.


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