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Truth trees for propositional and predicate logic

With IFL2 (the book itself) temporarily put aside, I’m turning to the task of putting together its associated webpages. The initial effort will go into supplying  answers to the end-of-chapter exercises. This might take a little while! (Even when there is a … Continue reading → The post Truth trees for propositional and predicate logic appeared first on Logic [More]

Formal Methods in Philosophy: Initial Thoughts and an Interactive Event (guest post by Liam Kofi Bright)

Plausible answers as to the nature of our mission as philosophy educators gives us no unique reason to focus on logic as the mathematical tool of interest to philosophers. The following is a guest post* by Liam Kofi Bright (London School of Economics) about the justifications philosophers offer for requiring their students to have instruction in logic, over other formal methods, and about his role facilitating worldwide participation in an upcoming event on this topic. Formal Methods in Philosophy by Liam Kofi Bright Every year a great many philosophy departments force both graduate and undergraduate students to learn at least some mathematical logic. For these departments, some basic ability to deploy mathematical reasoning is part of the normatively expected skill set of the philosopher. What is more, we do not tend to insist on knowledge of other formal theories in the same way—logic is picked out as an especially relevant branch of mathematics. Why is that? There are two things I want to suggest about this. First, the justifications I have heard of for this would mandate making instruction in other formal tools or theories besides just logic obligatory. Second, the available justifications for this reflect deep and abiding disagreements concerning what constitutes good philosophy. The first and most frequent justification one hears for our logic teaching is that we are bound to carry on the philosophical tradition wherein logic has played a big role. What’s more, [More]

New Open Access Text On Probability & Decision

Jonathan Weisberg, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, has created a new open-access book on probability and decision-making. It has the brilliant title Odds & Ends. The book, which requires neither a background in deductive logic nor familiarity with other formal methods, and makes generous use of visual aids, is intended for introductory philosophy courses on probability and inductive logic. It is free and also open-source, which means instructors can alter it to suit their teaching needs, and is available as a PDF and in HTML. Professor Weisberg says: By the end of the course, students with little formal background have a bevy of tools for thinking about uncertainty. They can understand much more of the statistical and scientific discourse they encounter. And hopefully they have a greater appreciation for the value of formal methods. Students who already have strong formal tools and skills will, I hope, better understand their limitations. I want them to understand why these tools leave big questions open—not just philosophically, but also in very pressing, practical ways. He credits Brian Skyrms’ Choice & Chance, Ian Hacking’s An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic, and Kieran Healy’s book Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction as influences for his book. You can access Odds & Ends here.   The post New Open Access Text On Probability & Decision appeared first on Daily [More]

IFL2 — at long last!

Some headline news. On Wednesday, at last — ok, at ridiculously long last — I’m sending off a full version of IFL2 to CUP. This is for proof-reading and then early production, I hope. Heaven knows I’d like to seriously … Continue reading → The post IFL2 — at long last! appeared first on Logic [More]

How to Argue With People

Talking with people about difficult or controversial topics can be a real challenge (and it seems there are plenty of those conversations these days). This article covers the basics of argumentation and offers some strategies on how to make difficult conversations with people more productive. [More]

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