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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2005

T C PHL313 • Logic and Scientific Reasoning

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42045 to 42100 Multiple Sections

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the use of formal logical techniques in the analysis of arguments and texts. We will begin by examining the logic of natural human languages like English and then develop a canonical formal language of sentential logic. We will then develop several specialized branches of logic, including modal logic (the logic of possibility and necessity), counterfactual logic, deontic logic (the logic of moral obligation), temporal logic, and multi-valued logic. Finally, we will examine quantified logic, a more powerful extension of sentential logic. We will focus throughout on acquiring a real ability to use the formal devices as a tool in real-world reasoning and on gaining insight into how one develops formal logical tools and what analytic virtues come with those tools.

About the Professor Josh Dever received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998. He works primarily in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of logic, and is the author of Complex Demonstratives, Compositionality as Methodology, Binding Into Character, and other works. Recently he spends most of his time wondering what makes logical truths true. When he's not doing philosophy, he's usually reading English Renaissance drama or watching movies without plots.

Grading Policy

There will be four problem sets and two in-class exams (or one in-class exam and a short paper) over the course of the semester. In addition, a final project will be required, in which students will construct a logical system designed to treat one of a number of problematic types of logical argumentation. Class participation also contributes to the final grade. Grades will be calculated as follows: Problem Sets: 12.5% each Two exams: 10% each (or 10% for the first exam and 10% for the paper) Final Project: 25% Class Participation: 5%


Deduction, Daniel Bonevac


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