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Non-Classical Logic - PHI00078M

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Rob Trueman
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module examines some of the most important logical paradoxes, focussing on the Sorites and the Liar. We will examine a range of recently proposed solutions to these paradoxes, focussing on solutions which appeal to non-classical logics.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

  • To explore some of the recent developments in logic, by evaluating a range of solutions to the logical paradoxes.

  • To provide a research-led approach to understanding and participating in contemporary debates in formal and philosophical logic.

  • To develop students’ formal logical skills, by studying the strengths and weakness of various non-classical logics.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should:

  • understand what the Liar and Sorites Paradoxes are,
  • have a strong formal grasp of the leading classical solutions to these paradoxes (e.g. Williamson epistemicist solution to the Sorites, and Tarski semantic solution to the Liar),

  • have a strong formal grasp of the leading non-classical solutions to these paradoxes (e.g. the supervaluationist solution to the Sorites, and Priest’s dialetheist response to the Liar),

  • be able to assess the strengths and weakness of these solutions on formal grounds.

By the end of this module, students should have developed the following academic skills:

  • They should be able to reason with various non-classical logics, and reason about them.

  • They should be able to evaluate the formal strengths and weaknesses of various non-classical logics. 

  • They should be able to read and critically engage with a wide variety of complex and difficult material in logic.

  • They should be able to develop and defend a considered view on important questions about logic.

Module content

  • Seminar 1: A refresher on classical logic, and an introduction to the Sorites Paradox

  • Seminar 2: Classical responses to the Sorites, focussing on Williamson’s epistemicism

  • Seminar 3: The supervaluationist response to the Sorites

  • Seminar 4: Fuzzy-logic responses to the Sorites

  • Seminar 5: An introduction to the Liar Paradox

  • Seminar 6: Tarski’s semantic response to the Liar

  • Seminar 7: Kripke’s fixed-point construction, and revision sequences

  • Seminar 8: Preist’s dialetheist response to the Liar

  • Seminar 9: Field’s paracomplete response to the Liar.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 4000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

The formative essay is due on Monday, Week 8 of the Spring Term.

The summative essay is due on Monday, Week 1 of the Summer Term.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 4000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on formative work before the end of term.

Students will receive feedback on summative work 4 weeks after submission. 

Indicative reading

Williamson, Vagueness

Keefe, Theories of Vagueness

Priest, In Contradiction

Field, Saving Truth from Paradox



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.