Set Theory and Further Logic

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Miklos Redei, LAK 4.03


This course is available on the MSc in Economics and Philosophy, MSc in Philosophy of Science and MSc in Philosophy of the Social Sciences. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students taking this course should already have taken a year-long introductory course in logic in a Philosophy Department, or a mathematical course that covers the basics of set theory and logic. If in doubt whether you satisfy this prerequisite,  consult the instructor.

Course content

The aim of the course is to familiarize students of philosophy with the essentials of naive set theory and formal logic. From set theory, the course covers (i) what is needed for use in formal reasoning, and (ii) what is of philosophical interest (Russell Paradox, elementary theory of cardinals and ordinals, transfinite induction, Axiom of Choice, Continuum Hypothesis). From logic, it covers the basic metatheory of sentential and first-order predicate logic (up to the completeness theorems), continues with Gödel's famous incompleteness theorems concerning the limitations of mathematical provability and ends with exploring extensions of classical logic.


20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

Lectures will be delievered online.

Formative coursework

In each term, students are required to submit solutions to two problem-sets, and write one 1,500 word essay on a topic from a list or proposed by the student and approved by the instructor.

Indicative reading

Textbooks: Cameron, Peter: Sets, Logic and Categories (Springer, 1999); Sider, Theodore: Logic for Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2010). Specific sections of these texts that are relevant to weekly topics will be indicated in the detailed course description and in the Moodle page of the course.  

Additional reading: Halmos, Paul: Naive Set Theory (Springer reprint 2011); Crossley, John: What is Mathematical Logic? (Dover reprint 1991); Goble, Lou ed.: The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic (Blackwell, 2001); Boolos, G., Burgess, J., & Jeffrey, R.: Computability and Logic (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Additional material on special topics will be made available on Moodle.



Take-home assessment (100%) in the ST.

Examination will be a 48 hour take home exam, to be submitted electronically.  

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 54.2
Merit 25
Pass 4.2
Fail 16.7

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

Total students 2019/20: 10

Average class size 2019/20: 10

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills