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Logic and Paradox - PHI00121I

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Rob Trueman
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

In this module, we will explore a variety of philosophical and logical paradoxes, and the discoveries that their solutions can lead to.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

Subject content

  • To investigate some of the most important paradoxes in logic and metaphysics.

  • To explore the new perspectives on a variety of philosophical topics provided by the solutions to these paradoxes.

  • To study some of the recent developments in logic, by evaluating non-classical solutions to logical paradoxes.

Academic and graduate skills

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

  • To develop students’ philosophical logical skills, by evaluating various solutions to paradoxes.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to …

  • present and explain a variety of paradoxes.

  • present and evaluate a variety of solutions to these paradoxes.

  • make use of a variety of non-classical logics, and make informed judgments about their strengths and weaknesses.

  • engage in critical but supportive discussions with peers about the module material.

  • articulate and defend informed opinions about the module material in an extended piece of writing.

Module content

A paradox is an apparently convincing argument for an apparently absurd conclusion. Studying paradoxes is important, because they reveal deep confusions in our understanding of things, and solving a paradox often involves making a huge intellectual leap forward.

We will study paradoxes such as: Zeno’s Paradoxes; Newcomb’s Paradox; the Sorites Paradox; and the Liar Paradox. We will examine a range of solutions to these paradoxes, including solutions which appeal to non-classical logics. In particular, we will discuss solutions to the Sorites and Liar Paradoxes which reject the classical principle that every sentence is either true or false but not both: we will discuss the supervaluationist solution to the Sorites Paradox, which asserts that some sentences are neither true nor false; and we will discuss the dialetheist solution to the Liar Paradox, which asserts that some sentences are both true and false.


Task Length % of module mark
Summative essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative Assessments

750-word essay due on Monday Week 5, Semester 1

Essay plan due on Wednesday Week 11, Semester 1

Summative Assessment

3,000-word essay in Semester 1 Assessment Period


Task Length % of module mark
Summative essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Summative assessment feedback will be returned within current guidelines for turnaround.

Indicative reading

Sainsbury, Paradoxes

Williamson, Vagueness

Keefe, Theories of Vagueness

Priest, In Contradiction

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.