Phil 710 – Seminar: Logical Consequence
Spring 2007. Thursdays 1:00-3:30pm in Bartlett 212
Prof. Kevin Klement
An examination of the philosophical controversies surrounding the
nature of logic itself. What is logic, or “a logic”? What
is the logical consequence relation? What are the bearers of this
relation? What, if anything, makes logical truths true? Are the
standard (Tarskian) mathematical definitions of logical truth and
logical implication philosophically correct? Can there be multiple
correct “logics”? Is logic dependent on the mind or on
language? What makes a logical constant different from other meaningful
symbols? Prerequisites: Graduate student with strong background in
formal logic, or consent of instructor.
My office is 353 Bartlett Hall. My office phone is 545-5784. My office
hours are Mondays 2pm-3pm, Thursdays 11am-12pm and by appointment. I'm
often in my office many other times. Feel free to drop by any time. You
may also e-mail me at email@example.com. Our course web page is http://courses.umass.edu/klement/710/
Short readings will be made available for photocopy in the metal
cabinet on the 3rd floor of Bartlett, or will be distributed by e-mail,
or are available on JSTOR.
Your final grade will be based on the following requirements, (1)
in-class participation (15%), (2) one class presentation (15%), (3)
weekly assignments (25%), and (4) a final term paper (45%).
Weekly Assignments: You are
expected to carefully read the selected texts for each session before
the seminar meeting and come prepared to discuss them. To help
facilitate this, each week you are expected to write a 1-3 page essay
in which you (1) summarize the reading, (2) identify any criticisms or
points of discussion (including points in need of clarification)
involving the reading. These essays are due at the start of class on
the day on which we will be discussing the relevant readings. You will
be graded on 1-5 scale, with 1 representing a barely acceptable essay,
2 representing a deeply problematic essay, that misrepresents the views
of the philosopher or philosophers in question or commits other abuses
of philosophical method, 3 representing an essay that is slightly
lacking in some area, but generally acceptable, 4 representing a good
essay that performs the desired tasks as expected, and 5 representing
an essay with substantial and original insight. (You should never
expect to receive anything above 4. A student receiving a 4 on every
assignment should still expect a good grade for this portion. I will
only award a 5 to an essay that surpasses my expectations.) In
determining your grade, I will take into account only your 10 highest
scores of 12 possible essays. This means you may either drop your two
lowest scores, or simply not write two essays (or combine the two
options). You need not prepare an assignment for the week you will be
Presentation: Early in the
semester, each student will choose (or be assigned) one week in which
he or she is expected to give a presentation on the readings for that
week (approx. 20 minutes), to be given at the beginning of the seminar
meeting, and should also be prepared to lead the discussion for that
class period. The presentation should (1) summarize the main points of
the readings, though at his or her discretion the presenter may focus
on certain issues he or she finds most interesting, (2) identify any
questions or concerns the presenter has with understanding or
interpreting the material, which he or she would like to discuss in
class, (3) critically discuss one or more philosophical issues raised
in the readings, as a starting point for seminar discussion.
Term Paper: Each student is
prepared to write a 15-25 page term paper that aims to contribute
something original to the discussion of any of the texts, philosophers
or philosophical issues discussed in the course. The paper should
constitute critical and original discussion of the philosophical issues
concerning the nature of logic and/or the logical consequence relation.
The amount of outside research done for the paper is left to your
discretion, but a careful search of the relevant secondary material is
strongly recommended. It is due either at the end of finals week (May
25), or by the first day of Fall Semester (if you take an incomplete).
Phil 710: Seminar – Logical Consequence
Feb. 1 — Course Introduction
Feb. 8 — Classical depictions: Aristotle, Organon, various short passages; Bernard Bolzano, Theory of Science, selections; Frege, “Logic”, selections from The Foundations of Arithmetic and The Basic Laws of Arithmetic and other short writings
Feb. 15 — Russell, chap. 1 of The Principles of Mathematics and “Mathematics and Logic” (chap. 18 of Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy), Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus §§4.2-5.143 (recommended §5.2-5.5151)
Feb. 22 — Tarski, “The Concept of Logical Consequence” (from Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics); textbook presentation of model-theoretic definitions (e.g., Mendelson, Introduction to Mathematical Logic, 4th ed. chap. 2, pp. 50-66)
Mar. 1 — Quine, The Philosophy of Logic, chaps. 1, 3, 6-7
Mar. 8 — Peacocke, “What is a Logical Constant?” Journal of Philosophy 73 (1976): 221-40, McCarthy, “The Idea of a Logical Constant,” Journal of Philosophy 78 (1981): 499-523.
Mar. 15 — Tarski, “What are Logical Notions?” History and Philosophy of Logic 7 (1986): 143-154; Sher, “A Conception of Tarskian Logic,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 70 (1989): 341-68.
Mar. 22 — No class (Spring Break)
Mar. 29 — Etchemendy, The Concept of Logical Consequence, chaps. 3-8
Apr. 5 — McGee, “Two Problems with Tarski’s Theory of Consequence,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 92 (1992): 273-292. Priest, “Etchemendy and Logical Consequence,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1995): 283-292.
Apr. 12 — Ray, “Logical Consequence: A Defense of Tarski,” Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (1996): 617-77. (Recommended: Hanson, “Ray on Tarski on Logical Consequence,” Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (1999): 607-618.)
Apr. 19 — Susan Haack, Philosophy of Logics, chaps. 9, 11-12
Apr. 26 — JC Beall and Greg Restall, “Logical Pluralism,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (2000): 475-98; Goodu, “What Exactly is Logical Pluralism?” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2002): 218-230.
May 3 — OPEN (TBA)
May 10 — OPEN (TBA)
Possible “Open” Topics:
- the nature of logical form
- more on the relata of the consequence relation: propositions vs. sentences, etc.
- more on the dependence of logic on the mind/language
- more on non-classical logic
- debate over the status of higher-order logic (--does it count as “logic” proper?)
- constructivist theories of consequence
- more historical stuff
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