The Dennes Room

Philosophy 142

Spring 2006

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
142 Philosophical Logic MacFarlane TuTh 12:30-2 30 Wheeler

An introduction to the philosophy of logic and to philosophical applications of logic. The bulk of the course will be devoted to discussion of two notions that play a central role in logical theory: truth and logical consequence. We will pay special attention to the philosophical significance of Tarski’s formal definitions of both notions. At the end of the course we will consider how logical theory can be brought to bear on philosophical problems, focusing on the sorites paradox (or “paradox of the heap”). Topics to be covered include theories of truth, facts and propositions, the slingshot argument, Tarski’s truth definitions, objectual and substitutional quantification, proof-theoretic and model-theoretic definitions of logical consequence, relevance logics, dialetheism, the sorites paradox, many-valued logics, and supervaluations.

Prerequisites: Philosophy 12A (or equivalent) and at least one other course in philosophy. The course covers some technical material, but knowledge of logic beyond what is taught in 12A will not be presupposed.

Requirements will include both papers and occasional problem sets.

Books: John Etchemendy, The Concept of Logical Consequence (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990); course reader.

Previously taught: SP05.