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In this course, we will begin with an in-depth study of the theory of first-order logic. We will first get clear on the formal semantics of first-order logic and various ways of thinking about formal proof: natural deduction systems, semantic tableaux, axiomatic systems and sequent calculi. Our main goal will be to prove things about this logical system rather than to use this system to think about ordinary language arguments. In this way the goal of the course is significantly different from that of Logic and Language (PHIL 203). Students who have take PHIL 203 will have a good background for this class, but students who are generally comfortable with formal systems need not have taken PHIL 203. We will prove soundness and completeness, compactness, the Lowenheim-Skolem theorems, undecidability and other important results about first-order logic. As we go through these results, we will think about the philosophical implications of first-order logic. From there, we will look at extensions of and/or alternatives to first-order logic. Possible additional topics would include: modal logic, the theory of counterfactuals, alternative representations of conditionals, the use of logic in the foundations of arithmetic and Godel’s Incompleteness theorems. Student interest will be taken into consideration in deciding what additional topics to cover.
problem sets and exams
some class in which student has studied formal reasoning
Philosophy majors; juniors and seniors
This is a class in Formal Logic. PHIL 203 satisfies the QFR requirement. If anything, this class will be significantly more formal.