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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL3123 Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

Any of the following:
MATH 2040 Mathematical Logic 1;
PHIL2121 Introduction to Philosophy;
PHIL2122 Formal Logic;
PHIL2521 Realism and Antirealism;
PHIL2542 Introduction to Metaphysics

This module is mutually exclusive with

MATH3021Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics
MATH5021MPhilosophy of Logic and Mathematics

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Understand and discuss critically in detail the philosophical issues concerning the nature and application of logic or mathematics;
- Read, interpret and criticise historical and contemporary research work on the subject.


Students will study a selection from the following/relevantly similar topics:
- Philosophy of Mathematics Logicism (Frege, Russell, etc) Intuitionism (Kant and Kantians, Brouwer)
- Formalism (Hilbert) The metaphysics of mathematical objects: realism and nominalism The epistemology of mathematics The (unreasonable?) effectiveness of mathematics in the sciences.
- Philosophy of Logic What is logic?
- Logical constants; the scope of logic; higher order logic.
- Logical concepts: philosophical analysis of one or more of: the conditional, quantifiers, negation, definite descriptions etc.
- Alternative logics: free logic; many-valued and fuzzy logics; intuitionistic logic; relevance logics.
- Modern theories of truth from Russell to the present: correspondence, redundancy, Tarski, minimalism, truthmaker theory.
- Theories of vagueness: fuzzy logic, supervaluation, epistemic theories. Intensional logics, their uses and justifications.
- Paradoxes: types and avoidance strategies.
- Expanding logic: Generalised Quantifiers; Indexicals; Tense; Logic Diagrams.
- Approached to logic: formalist; semantic; logic in use.
- Logic and ontology.
- Logic, cognition and natural language; non-monotonic logics.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours173.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading and seminar preparation: 113 hours;
Essay preapration: 60 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be asked to hand in work during one seminar each week which can form the basis of discussion with module leader in office hours. They will be invited to submit draft essay/mock exams prior to formal assessment. The module leader will comment on these on request. Students will be invited to prepare and present material during seminars.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words50.00
Essay2,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 25/03/2019


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