Phil 76600

Phil 76600, Fall 2015

Modal Logic

Class Schedule: Tuesday, 11:45 - 1:45, Room 7395.

Textbook: First-Order Modal Logic, Melvin Fitting and Richard L. Mendelsohn, ISBN 978-0-7923-5335-5 (Amazon price for paperback is $57.39.)

Instructors: Melvin Fitting and Richard L. Mendelsohn

Description/Syllabus: Modal logic is usually thought of as the logic of qualified truth: necessarily true, true at all times, and so on. From at least Montague on, quantified modal logic has also been thought of as the natural setting for a logic of intensions. This course will cover the whole range.

We begin with propositional modal logic, presented semantically via Kripke models, and proof theoretically using both tableaus and axiom systems. First-order modal logic will be studied in considerable detail, using possible-world semantics and tableau systems, but not axiom systems. Various philosophical issues will be discussed, amongst which are: the nature of possible worlds, possibilist and actualist quantification, rigid and non-rigid designators, intensional and extensional objects, existence and being, equality, synonymy, designation and non-designation, and definite descriptions in a modal context.

The prerequisites for the course: a familiarity with classical logic, both propositional and first-order.

[Counts towards course satisfaction of Group E]


Course Learning Goals By the end of the course students will be expected to:

Sample Final Exam Questions

Click here for questions of the sort that will be on the final exam.


Actual Final Exam

Here is the final exam. It is due on December 15, 2015.


Course Notes

  1. Notes on Classical Propositional Logic
  2. Slides about classical tableaus
  3. Lewis and Langford Modal Axiom System
  4. Slides about modal tableaus

Course Readings

  1. Frege - Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege (Geach and Black)
  2. Quine - Mathematical Logic, Chapter One, Section 4 (this is available from the same web site that has the Frege volume).
  3. Quine - Three Grades of Modal Involvement
  4. Quine - Reference and Modality
  5. Quine - On What There Is
  6. Russell - On Denoting
  7. Moore - External and Internal Relations
  8. Kaplan - Demonstratives
  9. Donnellan - Reference and Definite Descriptions
  10. Additional Readings

Web Sites of Interest:

  1. Stanford Encyclopedia article on classical logic
  2. Stanford Encyclopedia article on modal logic
  3. Stanford Encyclopedia article on intensional logic