Last modified: 16 Nov 2016 18:13
What makes an argument convincing? What gives our language meaning? Are there limits to reason? What are the laws of thought?
Formal logic has proved itself an exceptionally powerful tool in contemporary philosophy, computer science, psychology, linguistics and mathematics. This course will provide an introduction to the tools of formal logic including: the assessment of arguments; the symbolic representation of language; and the abstract representation of meaning. It will then apply these tools to topics including: the Sorites paradox (philosophy); everyday reasoning (psychology); description logic (computer science); systematic translation (linguistics); and continuity (mathematics). Download course guide.
|Session||First Sub Session||Credit Points||15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)|
|Campus||Old Aberdeen||Sustained Study||No|
This course provides an introduction to the elementary tools of formal logic as used in Philosophy, Computer Science, Psychology, Linguistics and Mathematics.
Main Learning Outcomes
Students undertaking the Logic, Language and Information will:
- Develop critical thinking skills that will allow them to understand how language and reasoning work. This will give them the
skills to better evaluate real world arguments in situations ranging from politics to medicine.
- Enhance their ability to clearly articulate flaws in arguments and reasoning practices. This provides students with the ability to
not only get to the truth, but also the ability to help others get there.
- Learn how to apply abstract logical approaches to a variety of applications in diverse areas of research. This will provide
students with the foundation to apply the skills they develop into new areas and the ability to use these skills in their lives more
The underlying core of Logic, Language and Information will be a foundation in elementary propositional and predicate logic. This
will comprise six weeks of the course delivered in two three week phases. The remaining weeks will give students the opportunity
to apply the core skills in disciplines spread across the university.
In the core section, students will develop skills in elementary semantics, proof theory and translation. In the application sections, students will apply these skills to problems in Psychology, Philosophy, Computer Science, Linguistics and Mathematics.
This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.
Students will complete three pieces of assessment:
1. Group assignment (40%): this will assess students? mastery of the basic core material from the first three weeks.
2. Application essay (30%): an essay on one of the first two application sections.
3. Final assignment (30%): a set of problems based on the final core sections and some short answers to questions relating to the final application sections.
The resit will consist of a 100% take home examination.
Students will complete exercises during tutorials and receive feedback on that work by the tutor and their peers.
For the Summative assessment, students will receive feedback within two weeks of submission. Particular effort will be made with the first piece of assessment to track students who could fall behind.