logic & philosophy

course description

This course is an accelerated introduction to logic and its application to philosophical problems. It provides a background in predicate logic and probability theory sufficient for navigating some recent philosophical literature, and serves as a graduate level introduction to the philosophy of logic.
            The first half of the course will be concerned primarily with predicate logic: translation of English argumentation into predicate logic notation, proofs and trees for checking validity, and discussion of some metalogical features such as soundness, completeness, and the lack of a decision procedure.
            The second half will explore applications of logic to a number of philosophical issues, including the theory of descriptions, the paradoxes of material implication, and the semantical analysis of natural language. We will also look at topics in formal epistemology and artificial intelligence, focusing on specific problems like Simpson’s paradox, the Monty Hall Problem, and the frame problem.  To tackle these problems, we will also learn the basics of probability theory, causal Bayes nets, and nonmonotonic logic programming.