Elementary Logic

Jul 2011

Professor McIntyre is an intelligent, patient and dedicated professor who teaches Logic with enthusiasm. When we moved on from Sentential Logic to Predicate Logic, she tells us: “You should all be very exited about this, now you can write real sentences.” She takes the time to tell you why a concept is important from a philosophical point of view and doesn’t focus on Logic from a “mathematical” perspective – something I valued as a math-phobic student. She treats everyone with respect, is willing to answer any question, and makes herself available to every student. She even offers extended office hours before exams. If you “don’t get it,” all you have to do is ask – and she’ll explain things until you do understand. She really cares about her students. I would recommend taking this class during the Fall/Spring semesters – or perhaps during a longer summer session. I found it difficult to keep up with the pace of the six-week summer session.

May 2009

Prof. Mendelson is a great professor- she is intelligent, patient, willing to answer questions, and very available for students. Although she has not taught logic for awhile, she explained the concepts clearly. This class presents an introduction to formal logic and is great for students with no logic experience (such as myself). The only time this presents a problem is when students aren't paying attention when things are explained, or simply don't get it, and ask lots of questions that detract from the actual presentation of the material. However, with weekly office hours and the weekly "logic hour" just for our class, Prof. Mendelson made plenty of time to answer students' questions. Overall, a dry class (what do you expect?), but a great way to fulfill the Q&DR requirement. Good if you plan to take the higher level logic course and don't have any logic experience.

May 2008

Although the professor Achille Varzi was nice and funny, about two or three weeks into the class, most of my classmates and I were totally lost. Varzi's lectures are often tangential and really do not help at all. It got to the point where I just couldn't sit through an entire class, no matter how hard I tried. By the time finals came around, we were all scrambling to make sense of it all, and Varzi just couldn't do it. Like a godsend, Sebastian came along and taught a review session and it made so much more sense. He has an adorable accent, and he knows his material, and he's just really good at teaching this otherwise terribly convoluted class. If it weren't for him I surely would have failed. THANK YOU SEBASTIAN!

Dec 2006

Elementary Logic is NOT a difficult course. But Daniel Rothschild (despite his pleasant nature and good intentions) does not communicate very well. He is, clearly, a new teacher. And he did improve over the course of the semester. So he may become a better instructor in future semesters... But, for now, if you are going to take this class--and you do not have a background in formal logic or programming--be prepared to learn from the book because the lectures are too freakin' confusing. Rothschild actually says things like, "I know that what I just said didn't make any sense..." and "I'm glad I'm not a student in this class!" Comments like that are honest, charming and self-deprecating. But they don't help you learn the material! I think he knows that he isn't the best communicator, though, so he keeps the exams basic and pretty easy. All you need to do to get an easy "A" is do the homework and pick up the basics. Also, if you are TOO confused after class to BEAR going forward, Rothschild and the TAs have plentiful and flexible Office Hours. They are ALL very nice! And they go out of their way to be helpful.

Dec 2006

Jonah is the world's most incredible TA, has a great band, will spend hours teaching you complicated material and never complain. It's pretty astounding. He's a senior philosophy major though so he'll sadly be leaving soon.

Dec 2006

Easy class. Weekly homeworks-take about half an hour to do, sometimes less if you know the material well. Three exams (non-cumulative) If you know it really well, you don't even need to go to class unless to hand in hw. Each exam was about 30% and hw was 10&

Apr 2006

If you need to take logic for a requirement or even if you have no idea what logic is, take one (or both) of these classes and take them with Varzi. He is a very clear teacher. I think having taken Elementary with Varzi first is really helping me in Symbolic. Elementary: I only attended on test days and I barely did work and I got an A. The textbook is co-written by Varzi and is really good for practicing problems, which I think is a good way to learn the material. Symbolic: I do attend regularly but it is not so hard. The courepacket sucks and is very unclear, but he provides lecture notes which are clear and very helpful.

Jan 2006

I really enjoyed this class. Prof Varzi is a really cool guy and he presents the material clearly. Also, some of the funny little comments he makes are priceless. Though it would have been nice to move through the material at a faster pace... it was not boring at all. Even though there were like 30-50 people who actually attended the classes, the room was packed with well over 100 on test days. I would definately recommend going to the classes, because if you go to all the classes and do all the homework... there is really no need to study very much--or even at all. I had two minor issues with the class (neither of which are Prof Varzi's fault). First: the TA's. Maybe they really were intelligent and knowledgeable people, but they certainly didn't prove it when they tried teaching the class one day. They were saying stuff that was obviously incorrect and it made me really appreciate Prof Varzi. Thankfully, that was the only time I ever dealt with the TAs. Second: people do ask some really stupid questions. Especially when they start contributing retarded hypothetical situations that are completely ridiculous (but then again there are people like that in most classes). Even though those 2 things were annoying, the class was great and I would absolutely definitely recommend it! It's light in terms of workload, but you still feel like you are learning something, which is always nice.

Dec 2005

Probably the nicest guy in the entire world. He isn't the best teach I've ever had, but he was so understanding and willing to help out students that you can't help but love him. He's incredibly generous with his grading and really loves teaching it seems. The TA's are always available for help and definitely assist in making you understand. While I didn't like the material in the class that much, Professor Varzi was really kind, and it was refreshing to have a teacher like that.

Dec 2005

I absolutely loved this course! I was looking to fill that quantitative reasoning requirement and I found just the right one. I hate math but this one was so interesting that I actually did all the homeworks. The professor is funny and extremely nice althought the first couple of classes are pretty slow. Great course overall!

Dec 2005

Professor Varzi is an extremely nice man and a great professor. He is at ease in the classroom and more than willing to help outside of the classroom. He often goes off on tangents and tells funny stories--the one about his book on holes is pretty funny. I have seen him get a little impatient at people who ask really stupid questions, but I have to say... so did I. I think this is because he does not want to waste time, but he still answers them anyway... albeit abruptly. All of this being said, regardless of how great the professor is, I found this class to be extremely difficult. If you do not have a background in math and are not interested in learning a new and weird code language that you will never in your life have the opportunity to use, then I really dont recommend taking this class. Try statistics, maybe economics... anything.

Dec 2005

Yes, take this class! Varzi is simply the best. He is clear, funny, rigorous, patient, knowledgeable, smart, well organized. This was a huge class (I counted about 100 students at the beginning of the semester, and about 120 took the final) and each and every student I spoke to liked it. The lectures were impeccable, the tests fair, the homework helpful. Varzi can entertain students with very different background and can talk about philosophical subtleties and logical technicalities with the same easiness with which he gives precious advice if you want to score well in the LSAT. His motto: "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." He's not handsome, but beware: you can easily fall in love with him.

Nov 2005

Varzi is good. This is something you realize right away. I am a philo major, and have taken quite a few courses in the department, and let me tell you, this class is EASY. The 'math' required for E-logic is practically nonexistant. The class is big, but you don't miss out on learning b/c he is a clear, thorough lecturer. He answers questions and emails himself! Really nice, funny, caring guy. I am notorious for never showing up to my classes--and I busted my ass to be at every one of his (almost made it too). He is just a good teacher. I will take more classes with him. I highly reccomend any course this man teaches.

Nov 2004

I think the only bad thing I have to say about Achille Varzi is that he gave me a woefully inadequate example of what the other philosophy professors on campus are really like, or philosophy as a whole. He inspired me to pursue the subject as a major, which in retrospect may have been a mistake, but more the credit to him. Elementary Logic should be an easy A so long as your homework's kept up with, and though Symbolic Logic is far harder (essentially like an intensive Elem Logic class) I was still able to pull off a C+ throughout a lengthy heroin binge and relying on what I knew from Elem Logic two years prior. Hey, it's anonymous posting, so what do I care? I kid you not - a junkie could (and has) passed this class.

May 2004

What a great class! Prof. Varzi is very cool, and goes through everything you're expected to know in great detail. His explanation of everything is thorough and clear. He makes the class very enjoyable. The homeworks are not hard and directly relevant to the material... in fact, there's no better practice for the tests. Take this class!

May 2002

Professor Varzi is great- humorous, friendly, honest , and relaxed. But I warn all who are mathematically inept: this class requires math skills. If you are like me, and have a hard time remembering your multiplication tables, this class is not for you. It doesn't even fulfill the math requirement. Don't bother with it.

Jan 2000

This course is really easy, especially for anyone with a math background. The homeworks take 10 mins and the professor is fun.