Introduction to Formal Methods in Philosophy
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 modeling 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.