Computer and Statistics Center


Formal Logic

Along the course you will lear about why reasoning is very similar to solving equations. We will discuss how logcal statements can be formalized, how can we mechanically decide whether one statement is the consequence of the other. We will touch the construction of self referencing statements, and will discuss the limits of formal reasoning.

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Course details

Level: Intermediate
Laszlo Csirmaz
Max. no. of particpants: 13
Computer Lab: #2
Duration: 5 days
Requirements for pass: - (see the course's instructor)
When the course is offered: see the list of courses for the current semester and/or the UIS

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Course outline

Day 1

  • Truth values, predicate variables,
  • logical connectives: and, or, and not.
  • Forming compound statements.

Day 2

  • The notion of consequence and implication.
  • Intuitive and formal reasoning.

Day 3

  • Mechanising reasoning: how can we solve logical problems mechanically?
  • Erroneous reasoning, fallacies
  • Beyond predicate calculus: Every men is mortal.

Day 4

  • Formal languages
  • translating claims about objects to an artifical language.
  • What formal reasoning means?
  • Translating "formal reasoning" to this formal language.

Day 5

  • When the snake bites its own tail:
  • Gödel's famous statement I am not provable is unproveable.
  • How can I prove that I cannot prove a statement?
  • What does it mean in our everyday life?

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Useful online resources

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Logic in wikipedia
A freely downloadable book on formal logic.

NOTE: all links open in new windows

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