Undergraduate Course: Belief, Desire and Rational Choice (PHIL10159)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course provides an introduction into formal models of belief, desire, and rational choice: Bayesian epistemology, formal value theory, and decision theory.
This course uses lectures and tutorials to provide an introduction into formal models of belief, desire, and rational choice. The first part introduces Bayesian epistemology, where belief is treated as an attitude that comes in different degree of strength. Formalising this idea turns out to have rich applications in several areas of philosophy and science. In the second part, we turn to models of desire, drawing on utility theory in economics and value theory in philosophy. We will also look at interactions between desire and belief. The third part of the course introduces the basic concepts of decision theory, which formalises the intuition that rational agents do what they believe will bring them closer to satisfying their desires.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|| Students MUST have passed:
Logic 1 (PHIL08004)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Weekly take-home tests: 50%
Final essay (1500 words): 50%
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Students will acquire a high-level grasp of formal epistemology, utility theory, and decision theory.
- Students will understand the purpose and limitations of formal models.
- Students will acquire basic skills in probabilistic reasoning
- Students will practice critical thinking, constructive discussion, and development of their own ideas.
- Students will practice their writing skills.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Wolfgang Schwarz
|Course secretary||Miss Ann-Marie Cowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961