Info
Logo Bocconi

Course 2018-2019 a.y.

30454 - LOGIC AND METHODOLOGY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

BESS-CLES
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:
HYKEL HOSNI

Classes: 13 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 13: HYKEL HOSNI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The contribution of this course is two-fold. First, it answers the intellectually ambitious student’s demand for a set of core conceptual and analytic tools which allow them to play an active role in society at large. Fluency with logic and reasoning are unquestionable preconditions for the full and free exercise of individual citizenship. Second, it provides students with highly transferable skills, which allow them to put material covered in other mathematically oriented courses in a broader perspective. In addition this course is designed to make students explicitly aware of a set of pervasive methodological questions related to mathematical modelling in economics and the social sciences. The mindset acquired through this course act as a recognisable step-stone for further academic work and eventually for the student’s professional career.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The course is composed of two modules:

  1. Mathematical Reasoning:
    • Provides students with the nuts and bolts of mathematical.
      logic, covering some key methods of proof.
  2. Reasoning about mathematical models:
    • Investigates, through examples, the virtues and limitations of axiomatizing social scientific concepts.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the idea of formal languages and formal proofs. 
  • Familiarise with the notion of algorithmic procedures.
  • Understand the formal distinction between “truth” and “rational opinion”.
  • Recognise elementary fallacies in logical and probabilistic reasoning.
  • Assess critically the meaning of axiomatisations in economics and the social sciences.
  • Understand the critical elements in the mathematical modelling of informal concaepts.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Formalise expression in natural language.
  • Decide algorithmically the validity/invalidity of some natural language arguments.
  • Read original research in the methodology of the social sciences.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Individual assignments
DETAILS
  • For each topic covered in class, students are given an exercise set which helps them consolidate their understading. Exercises are discussed in class, possibly in dedicated sessions.
  • On a selection of particularly important and cross-disciplinary topics, projects are assigned to individuals who have an interest in broading their knowledge and "connecting the dots". 

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • x x x
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Attendance is very strongly encouraged. Not only attendance gives students a fuller appreciation of the material, but it gives them a unique opportunity to interact promptly with the lecturer should any difficulty arise, both in understading the material covered and in solving the exercises.

    • Continuous assessment involves solving certain suitably labelled exercises by a given deadline: solving all of them correctly is a necessary condition for "distinction".
    • Students scoring more than 16 to the first partial are admitted to the second.

    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    A full set of lecture notes with exercises are provided for this course. Reference for further readings are also included.

    Last change 22/06/2018 07:17