Spring 2019 - PHIL 315 D100

Formal Methods in Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 5802

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 11:30 AM – 1:20 PM
    AQ 5007, Burnaby

    Th 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 2104, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 16, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    One of: PHIL 110, 210, 310, 314, MACM 101, BUEC 232 or STAT 270.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

A survey of formal methods used in philosophy. Topics will include some of the following: propositional logic, predicate logic, formal syntax, formal semantics, the probability calculus, decision theory, game theory and formal causal modeling.

COURSE DETAILS:

This course provides a basic introduction to formal tools that find applications in the domain of epistemology and cognitive science, as well as linguistics, computer science, and economics. The course will primarily focus on ways in which the tools of logic and Bayesian probability can be used to:
(1) model cognitive states, including states of knowledge and beliefs;
(2) processes that lead to the formation of belief and acquisition of knowledge;
(3) rules for changing beliefs and credences based on evidence.
This formal approach will enable us to precisely systematize various concepts of belief, to uncover hidden paradoxes and inconsistencies among those beliefs, to investigate how best to resolve the paradoxes, and to rigorously characterize various learning profiles and strategies.

The lectures will present the material in a clear and engaging way. Students are expected to attend classes and participate.

COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

  • Acquire a working knowledge of the basic concepts of modal logic and relevant applications
  • Acquire a working knowledge of the basic concepts of Bayesian probability and relevant applications
  • Improve one’s capacity to make conceptual nuances in epistemology and related disciplines

Grading

  • The evaluations include homework assignments, exams, and one optional term paper. The term paper option is to accommodate students who might be somewhat insecure about their mathematical skills and wish to use their essay writing skills to hedge their bets, and it is also an excellent opportunity to explore interesting themes. Thus, two options are available for the nature and weights of the course requirements. Students will be expected to announce to the instructor which option they have selected by the end of the first month of class.
  • Option 1: * 10 homework assignments worth 5% each. * Midterm exam: 20% * Final exam: 30%
  • Option 2: * 10 homework assignments worth 4% each * Midterm exam: 15% * Final exam: 20% * Term paper: 25%

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

The core material about deontic logic per se will be delivered in class during lectures. Furthermore, a set of readings in PDF will be distributed to students. 
No textbook required.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philmgr@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS