Instructor: Prof. Dr. Benedikt
Löwe
Vakcode: MFSRFM6
ECTS: 6
Time: various (see below)
Place: various (see below)
Course language: English
Intended audience: M.Sc. students of Forensic Science.
Goal of this course: There are many things that can go wrong in reasoning: we can have
flawed formal arguments, informal arguments that refer to false facts, fallacious arguments. In order
to avoid the pitfalls of reasoning, it is important to learn what can go wrong and how it can go
wrong. In this course, students should learn the basics of argumentation theory, gain some expertise
in the use of formal languages for reasoning, and finally obtain some skills in the use of formal
models of procedures and processes.
Content of the course: We distinguish between formal reasoning and informal reasoning.
After dealing with the most basic forms of formal reasoning (syllogistics and propositional logic),
we cover the basics of argumentation theory and the theory of fallacies. In the second half of the
course, we will discuss formal models for understanding interactive processes in some simple
examples.
Evaluation:
 Homework.
 There will be four homework sheets, due on 15 February, 22 February, 8 March, and 18 March.
Each of these will be worth 25 points.

You are allowed to either work alone or in a group of at most two people for
the homework. It is not necessary to stay in the same group for every homework
set.
 Homework is handed in either in class or by email to M.Carl@uva.nl.
 Late homework is not accepted. Whether extenuating circumstances constitute a
reason for exceptions to this rule is decided by Merlin Carl.
 Each homework set will receive a grade. The grade for the homework component
will be the average of the four homework grades.
 Exam. The exam will be on 24 March 2011, 1316, RECA AB.44
(Zaal D). It will have 100 points of which 50 will be necessary to pass.
 Final grade.
The final grade is the average of the grade of the Homework component and the Exam
component calculated according to the OER regulations (Part A, Article 23).
If you do not pass the course in the first attempt, there will be a
hertentamen. In those cases where it becomes necessary to redo (parts of)
the homework component, we shall discuss individual solutions.
Literature.
 Marian Counihan, Looking for logic
in all the wrong places:
an investigation of language, literacy
and logic in reasoning. PhD thesis, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2008. DS200810:
PDF file.

Douglas Walton, Chris Reed, Fabrizio Macagno. Argumentation Schemes. Cambridge 2008:
amazon page
Course syllabus.
2 February 2011 
Hoorcollege
1315
G4.15

Motivation, History, Overview of the Course, Formal
issues.
Questions and some discussion.
 Marian Counihan, Looking for logic
in all the wrong places:
an investigation of language, literacy
and logic in reasoning. PhD thesis, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2008. DS200810:
PDF file.
 Lecture slides:
PDF file.

2 February 2011 
Hoor/Werkcollege
1517
A1.10

4 February 2011 
Hoorcollege
1113
C1.110

Wason task, Definitions, Propositional Logic, the distinction
SyntaxSemanticsPragmatics, Truth Tables, Truth Functionality.

8 February 2011 
Werkcollege
1113
A1.04

Discussion of Werkcollege exercises #1.

8 February 2011 
Hoorcollege
1517
A1.04

Truth tables for propositional logic, proofs with
truth tables.

15 February 2011 
Werkcollege
1113
A1.04

Discussion of Werkcollege exercises #2.

15 February 2011 
Hoorcollege
1517
A1.04

Syllogisms, psychological studies of syllogisms, existential import.

18 February 2011 
Hoorcollege
1113
F1.02

Quantifiers, basic model theory.

22 February 2011 
Werkcollege
1113
A1.04

Discussion of Werkcollege exercises #3.

22 February 2011 
Hoorcollege
1517
A1.04

Formal languages, abbreviations in formal
languages, pitfalls and problems of formalization.
 Lecture slides: PDF file
 Semantics for partially controlled situations and the "Hit and Run"
example: PDF file

23 February 2011 
Hoorcollege
1517
A1.04

Argumentation theory, part I

1 March 2011 
Werkcollege
1113
A1.04

Discussion of Werkcollege exercises #4.

1 March 2011 
Hoorcollege
1517
A1.04

Argumentation theory, part II

8 March 2011 
Hoorcollege
1517
A1.04

Argumentation theory, part III

8 March 2011 
Werkcollege
1719
C0.110

Discussion of Werkcollege exercises #5.

10 March 2011 
Hoorcollege
1719
A1.04

Temporal modelling, part I.

14 March 2011 
Hoorcollege
1517
A1.04

Temporal modelling, part II.

18 March 2011 
Werkcollege
1113
A1.10

Discussion of Werkcollege exercises #6.

18 March 2011 
Hoorcollege
1315
A1.04

Modelling of belief and action.

24 March 2011 
Exam
1316
RECA AB.44

Written Exam.

