Faculty of Arts

PHIL 323

Philosophy of Logic

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for PHIL 323.


This course introduces students who have some technical facility with logic to difficult questions about what logic is, what it can and cannot do and how it relates to ordinary reasoning. Some of the questions addressed bear on the foundations of mathematics, computer science, cognitive science and philosophy.

The course has two sections. The first centres around the question: Is there a pre-theoretic notion of validity (of what follows from what) that mainstream logical theory aims to describe? Our investigation of this matter allows us to discuss the normativity of validity (its role as a standard to which reasoning is answerable), the nature of necessity and theories about the nature of propositions. Investigating these questions involves us in surveying both classical and non-classical logics (without requiring any prior familiarity with a non-classical logic) and in understanding the nature of formal systems.

The second part of the course explores the relationship between standard logical connectives and the functions of such ordinary words as "and", "or" and "not". We devote considerable time to the logical properties of various kinds of conditional ("if...then") constructions.

Availability 2018

Not taught in 2018


Coordinator(s) Dr Andrew Withy

Recommended Reading

Stephen Read, Thinking About Logic: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Logic (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)


Coursework only


PHIL 323: 15.0 points


PHIL 222


PHIL 223

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