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PPR.305: Logic and Language

Tutor: Dr Nick Unwin
Term: Michaelmas

Course Description

The module provides an introduction to formal logic together with an examination of various philosophical issues that arise out of it. The syllabus includes a study of the languages of propositional and quantificational logic, how to formalize key logical concepts within them, and how to prove elementary results using formal techniques. Additional topics include identity, definite descriptions, modal logic and its philosophical significance, and some criticisms of classical logic.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Prove results using truth-tables and trees.
  • Translate English sentences into quantificational logic and vice versa.
  • Explain the philosophical significance of certain technical results.
  • Understand certain controversies that arise in logic, and present these ideas in an essay format.


40% coursework and 60% exam.
Coursework: 2 in-class unseen tests and 2 essays of 1000 words. Exam: 2 hours.

Teaching Method

Lecture (2 hours) weekly, and seminar (1 hour) fortnightly.

Introductory Reading

Peter Smith An Introduction to Formal Logic (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

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