Spring 2017

Matt Waples, Photographic Paintings Using Light and Miscellaneous Liquids

Matt Waples, Photographic Paintings Using Light and Miscellaneous Liquids, 2014.


Course CodeLocation Times
PHIL-SHU 70-001 (22216)1555 Century Avenue, Room 303Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30am–12:45pm


NameEmailOfficeConsultation Times
Brad Weslakebrad.weslake@nyu.edu1555 Century Avenue, Room 1226By appointment.
Andrew David Kingadk6@nyu.edu1555 Century Avenue, Room 1065Thursdays, 4pm—6pm, ARC.


This course is an introduction to formal reasoning. In the first part of the course, we study a simple system of deductive logic. In the second part of the course, we study probability theory and explore some examples of reasoning with probability in philosophy and science.


The aim of this course is for students to significantly improve their capacity to:



The final grade will be determined approximately as follows:

First Exam: 20%
Second Exam: 20%
First Paper: 20%
Second Paper: 30%
Attendance and participation: 10%

Assessment dates:

First Exam: Wednesday 1 March
Second Exam: Wednesday 29 March
First Paper: Monday 1 May
Second Paper: Saturday 20 May, 12pm


Attendance and Lateness

Students are required to attend all classes on time. An explanation for every absence or late attendance must be submitted in writing to the instructor. Every failure to attend class on time will count against the component of the final grade awarded for attendance and participation, unless an explanation is received and approved at least one day prior to the class in question. Requests for exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis, and typically granted only when related to an illness or other unforeseeable change in life circumstance. Students who have been excessively absent will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn and will be given a final grade of F.


It is a condition on passing this course that students read and adhere to the NYU Shanghai policy on academic integrity as described in the current NYU Shanghai Academic Bulletin.

Course Materials

All notes, readings and assignments can be found here.


Meeting 1: What is Logic? (Monday 6 February)

Section I: Deductive Logic

Meeting 2: Truth Functions (Wednesday 8 February)

Meeting 3: Compounds and Transcription (Monday 13 February)

Meeting 4: Equivalence (Wednesday 15 February)

Meeting 5: Expressive Completeness (Monday 20 February)

Meeting 6: Review (Wednesday 22 February)

Meeting 7: Review (Monday 27 February)

Meeting 8: First Exam (Wednesday 1 March)

Meeting 9: Validity and Conditionals (Monday 6 March)

Meeting 10: Natural Deduction (Wednesday 8 March)

Section II: Probability Theory

Meeting 11: Basics (Monday 13 March)

Meeting 12: Conditional Probability (Wednesday 15 March)

Meeting 13: Applications (Monday 20 March)

Meeting 14: Bayes' Theorem (Wednesday 22 March)

Meeting 15: Review (Tuesday 28 March, Room 309, 3–4pm)

Meeting 16: Second Exam (Wednesday 29 March)

Meeting 17: Kinds of Probability (Monday 10 April)

Meeting 18: Bayesianism I: Credence and Coherence (Wednesday 12 April)

Meeting 19: Bayesianism III: Conditionalisation Coherence (Monday 17 April)

Meeting 20: Application: Probability in the Law I (Wednesday 19 April)

Meeting 21: Application: Probability in the Law II (Monday 24 April)

Meeting 22: Frequency (Wednesday 26 April)

Meeting 23: Significance, Power and Confidence (Wednesday 3 May)

Meeting 24: Bayesianism, Likelihoodism, Frequentism (Sunday 7 May)

Meeting 25: Application: The Reproducibility Crisis I (Monday 8 May)

Meeting 26: Application: The Reproducibility Crisis II (Wednesday 10 May)

Meeting 27: Application: Power Posing I (Monday 15 May)

Meeting 28: Application: Power Posing II (Wednesday 17 May)

Updated: 11 May 2017