- Department: Philosophy
- Module co-ordinator: Prof. Mary Leng
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: I
- Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
- See module specification for other years: 2023-24
In this module, we will explore a variety of philosophical and logical paradoxes, and the discoveries that their solutions can lead to.
|Semester 1 2024-25
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.
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.
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.
|% of module mark
750-word essay due on Monday Week 5, Semester 1
Essay plan due on Wednesday Week 11, Semester 1
3,000-word essay in Semester 1 Assessment Period
|% of module mark
Summative assessment feedback will be returned within current guidelines for turnaround.
Keefe, Theories of Vagueness
Priest, In Contradiction