Phil 76600, Fall 2015
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
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:
- Demonstrate familiarity with the most well-known systems of propositional and first-order modal logic;
- Demonstrate familiarity with possible world semantics for propositional and first-order modal systems;
- Provide formal proofs of modal theorems and evaluate the validity of modal arguments using tableaus;
- Demonstrate familiarity with the significance of completeness proofs, and be able to carry out the details in particular examples;
- Represent the various alethic, epistemic, temporal and deontic modalities in terms of possible world semantics;
- Demonstrate familiarity with philosophical problems of identity, existence, designation, and quantification as they relate to the various modalities;
- Understand the formal and philosophical differences between actualist and possibilist quantification;
- Demonstrate familiarity with the De Dicto/De Re distinction and the use of Predicate Abstract Notation to represent it.
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.
- Notes on Classical Propositional Logic
- Slides about classical tableaus
- Lewis and Langford Modal Axiom System
- Slides about modal tableaus
- Frege - Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege (Geach and Black)
- Quine - Mathematical Logic, Chapter One, Section 4 (this is available from the same web site that has the Frege volume).
- Quine - Three Grades of Modal Involvement
- Quine - Reference and Modality
- Quine - On What There Is
- Russell - On Denoting
- Moore - External and Internal Relations
- Kaplan - Demonstratives
- Donnellan - Reference and Definite Descriptions
- Additional Readings
Web Sites of Interest:
- Stanford Encyclopedia article on classical logic
- Stanford Encyclopedia article on modal logic
- Stanford Encyclopedia article on intensional logic