Logic and philosophy of science SC (p) (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Ivan Valbusa
Ivan Valbusa
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IA (31.10.16 sosp.lezioni), Sem. IB

Lesson timetable

Sem. IA (31.10.16 sosp.lezioni)
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 1:30 PM - 3:10 PM lesson Lecture Hall SPA  
Wednesday 10:10 AM - 11:50 AM lesson Lecture Hall T.2  
Sem. IB
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 1:30 PM - 3:10 PM lesson Not defined from Dec 6, 2016  to Dec 7, 2016
Wednesday 10:10 AM - 11:50 AM lesson Lecture Hall T.2 from Dec 6, 2016  to Dec 7, 2016

Learning outcomes

The course is conceived as an introduction to logic and philosophy of science, showing the most important philosophical problems connected to the development of the scientific method. At the end of the course the student is to be able to recognize the different kinds of reasoning and to distinguish correct reasoning from fallacies. He must also have understood the nature of modern scientific research and the link between science and reasoning.



This part expounds the main concepts of classical logic and of some non-classical logics, also through examples both from the ordinary languages and the scientific ones.

Topics: reasoning and formalization; propositional logic and predicate logic; logic errors, fallacies, cognitive illusions; elements of inductive, probabilistic and fuzzy logic; abductive reasoning; non-monotonic reasoning.


This part introduces the basic knowledge useful to understand (the) nature and goals of modern science. The classic themes of philosophy of science are to face seriously and responsibly some current issues such as the problem of the so-called pseudo-sciences, the case of the OGMs and the “controversial” status of homeopathy.

Topics: deduction, induction and abduction in scientific research; discovery and explanation; reductionism and anti-reductionism; scientific revolutions; falsificationism and neo-positivism; science, philosophy and metaphysics: realism and anti-realism; science and values; the social problem of pseudo-science: the case of homeopathy; the importance of scientific culture: the case of OGMs.

The detailed program of the course, on which the exam will be based, will be published on the e-Learnine platform.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Silvio Garattini (a cura di) Acqua fresca? Tutto quello che bisogna sapere sull'omeopatia Sironi Editore 2015
Marcello Frixione Come ragioniamo Laterza 2015 qualsiasi edizione
Samir Okasha Il primo libro di filosofia della scienza Einaudi 2006
Dario Bressanini OGM tra leggende e realtà. Chi ha paura degli organismi geneticamente modificati? Zanichelli 2009

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam. Multiple choice test. Duration: 45 minutes.