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Updated A.Y. 2020-2021

Course description

Reasoning is the process of extracting useful consequences from some sort of preassigned background knowledge. Logic concerns itself with correct reasoning, and so, specularly, with detecting fallacious arguments. Needless to say, logic proves fundamental in any intellectual arena, including economics and politics. This course aims at producing well-trained critical thinkers able to put forward sound arguments as well as to rebut flawed ones.

The course is organized in two parts. The first will serve as an introduction to classical propositional logic. Students will learn how to 'extract' the logical structure of sentences expressed in natural language by means of the formalization process. They will be trained to analyze formalized sentences by computing truth-tables and applying the method of semantic tableaux. Special attention will be also given to the notions of valid and sound argument.

The second part of the course will be devoted to introducing some key topics in philosophy of science. In particular, we shall be dealing with the opposition between science and pseudo-science as well as with the distinction between deductive and inductive reasoning. Finally, we will also dwell on Karl Popper's falsificationisms, especially in the light of the criticism this theory has received from Thomas Kuhn.

Find more information in the Syllabus