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Truth, Consequence and Paradox (PH329-15)

Timing & CATS

This module will run in the Autumn Term and is worth 15 CATS

Module Description

This module aims to provide a non-technical introduction to some key issues in contemporary philosophy of logic. Logic, one of the three main divisions of theoretical philosophy, has been studied since the time of Aristotle. Now much mathematicised, it provides a wealth of problems demanding philosophical examination. The main topics covered will be the following. The nature of logical consequence: how we should understand the claim that some sentences are logical consequences of (or ‘follow logically from’) some other sentences; the nature of truth; some logical and semantical paradoxes, including those arising the liar sentence ‘This sentence is not true’ and from the vagueness of many expressions.

Learning Outcomes or Aims

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 1.understand, analyse and apply key theoretical approaches in contemporary philosophy of logic, and explain the issues at stake in debates between them; 2.identify and assess different argumentative strategies used in the philosophy of logic to address specific questions, and articulate central theoretical concepts that inform different answers to those questions; 3.develop and defend their own judgement about competing views in philosophy of logic, and express themselves clearly and with precision; 4.understand a number of central debates in philosophy of logic, and some of the major positions of key thinkers, including e.g. Alfred Tarski.

Contact Time

In this module each student must attend 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of seminars per week.

Lectures for 2017-18

Friday 12pm to 2pm in B2.04/5 (Sci Conc)

There will be no lectures in reading week (week 6)

Seminars for 2017-18

Seminars for this course start in week 2

Sign up for a seminar group using Tabula.

There will be no lectures in reading week (week 6)

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed in the following way:

  • One 1,500-word essay (worth 15% of the module)
  • One 2,500-word essay (worth 85% of the module)

Essays should be submitted to Tabula in line with the essay deadlines schedule.

Background Reading & Textbooks

Read, Stephen. Thinking about Logic: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Logic. Oxford: OUP, 1995. [Amazon]

The most relevant chapters for this course are intro, chs 1, 2, 6, 7. The main resources for the course are available in electronic form from the module resources page or the library.

If you would like additional background reading, please contact the module tutor.

Course Materials

From October 2016 course materials will be available on Moodle. Simply sign in and select the module from your Moodle home page.