Insegnamento a.a. 2017-2018



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 13
BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  M-FIL/02)
Course Director:

Classes: 13 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The Logic and Methodology of Social Sciences course provides students with a set of core conceptual and analytic tools aimed at developing highly transferrable critical-thinking skills. By way of carefully selected topics the course illustrates why mathematical modelling is necessary, and yet not sufficient, for the investigation of the phenomena of interest in economics and the social sciences.
The course is composed of two modules (1) Mathematical Reasoning, and (2) Reasoning about mathematical models.
  • Module (1) provides students with the nuts and bolts of mathematical logic, covering some key methods of proof.
  • Module (2) investigates, through examples, the virtues and limitations of axiomatizing social scientific concepts.
Lecturing are complemented by weekly problem sets, additional background readings and student-driven class discussion of topics of interest.

Intended Learning Outcomes
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Course Content Summary

  • The formalisation of mathematical statements, boolean tables and quantifiers.
  • The principle of induction and general methods of proof.
  • Classical propositional logic: satisfiability, compositionality, logical consequence.
  • Logic as reasoning: elementary probability logic.
  • Methodology: rationality as coherence.
  • Logic as modelling: examples of axiomatised theories.
  • Properties of axiomatised theories: consistency, independence completeness.

Teaching methods
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Assessment methods
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Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Grades are based on written exam(s) with a mix of open ended and multiple choice questions (a midterm exam and a final exam or a general exam at the of the course) and on individual assignments or group assignments.


A full set of lecture notes with examples and exercises is provided by the lecturer.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


There are no prerequisites for this course.
Last change 14/06/2017 15:44