Introduction to Formal Methods in Contemporary Philosophy

Course Description

This course gives students a basic grounding in some of the most important mathematical and logical methods used in philosophy. We begin by studying elementary propositional and predicate logic—fundamental tools for modelling good reasoning. And tools that form the foundation for the rest of the course. We go on to consider modal logic, probability theory, decision theory, and game theory, with emphasis on their application to philosophical questions. For instance, “How can we tell when a scenario is possible?”, “What makes a choice rational?”, and “How do we measure the degree to which observed evidence supports a theory?”. Students are assessed through a combination of problems designed to solidify competence with the mathematical tools and short-answer questions designed to test conceptual understanding.

Course Details

  • Class Number: 20887
  • 2021 Schedule: TuTh 12:30PM - 1:50PM PDT
  • Online Format - Synchronous: This course is taught in real-time, and students are expected to attend virtual sessions at specific times during the week.
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