Logic as the study of what it is that makes an argument a good argument has always been recognised to be a crucial part of the training of philosophers and it remains so today. It may come as a surprise, however, to learn that logic itself has a history, indeed rather a colourful history, and that many of the debates that have shaped the development of logic continue today. In this course we will consider some of the controversial questions raised in these debates both from the point of view of the contemporary logician and as they have been important for philosophers in the past. The aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the nature and goals of logic and to introduce them to the history of the subject. We will do this by looking at some ancient, medieval, and modern accounts of what constitutes a good argument and considering the question of why this crucially important issue remains a live one despite over two thousand years of work on the problem.
Not taught in 2023
PHIL 738: 15 points