Topics in Logic
This course will provide an introduction to two extensions of first-order predicate logic that are of particular interest to philosophers. In the first part, we will study tense logic, which is concerned with the formal representation of reasoning about time. Specifically, we will look at the standard approach to tense logic, first developed by Arthur Prior, where instants play the role that worlds play in modal logic. The second part will introduce second-order logic, which is (at least on one of the interpretations that we shall consider) concerned with the formal representation of reasoning about properties, and offer a glimpse into logics of higher order, which are a lively research area at the moment. Our emphasis will be on conceptual issues, philosophical motivation, and developing 'literacy' in those areas, i.e. the ability to read the relevant formalisms and engage with literature on the topic, rather than on mathematical depth.
Students will be evaluated based on a final research paper. Formative assessment (i.e. assessment that helps learning but does not directly feed into a final grade) will be by short weekly problem sets.