The aim of this Topics Seminar is for the participating student (1) to gain a thorough understanding of the primary texts for the course and a familiarity with the current debates in the philosophical literature on this topic; (2) to appreciate the arguments for and against the positions; and (3) to develop an independent judgment about the most promising approach in this area.
This “Topics Seminar” explores in depth issues and texts in the area of the philosophy of language and and philosophy of logic.|
Topic of 2021-22: Impossibilities: what they are, what they mean, what we know about them, and what we could possibly believe
We understand what a round figure is and also what a square is. Do we understand what a round square is? What properties can be truly predicated of a round square: none, all, some? Can we entertain beliefs and conceptualize entities that exceed what is logically possible? If some impossibility had been true then what else would be, or would have been, true? How many different kinds of impossibility are there, anyway? How do we distinguish between any two impossibilities of the same kind? Are there impossibilities, whether they be impossible truths or impossible objects? If so, where? Time allowing, we might also look into whether fictional characters are impossible entities of a particular kind.
The focus of this Seminar will be on the specifically philosophical issues pertaining to the epistemology, semantics, and metaphysics of various impossibilities. The course presupposes acquaintance with elementary logic (first-order predicate logic). Any formal notions beyond that will be explained as part of the course. We will use several chapters from the highly readable monograph Impossible Worlds (Francesco Berto and Mark Jago, OUP 2019, Open Access) for background, and for the rest we will be reading a selection of very recent articles.
Bronnen van zelfstudie
|Je moet voldoen aan de volgende eisen|
- Ingeschreven voor één van de volgende opleidingen
- History and Philosophy of Science
|Will be made available via Blackboard.||Verplicht materiaal-WerkvormenToetsen|
BeoordelingRegular attendance, active participation, and thorough preparation for the relevant philosophy colloquia, lectures, and workshops held during the year.
BeoordelingThe assignment or examination is assessed for demonstrating understanding of the texts, skills of critical argumentation, and written communication skills. The final paper is assessed for the quality of the research question, cogency of the argumentation, clarity of written expression, and demonstrated ability to relate the analysis to a clear understanding of the texts for the course.
DeadlinesA written assignment, take-home examination, or in-class examination is due half-way through the term, and a final paper is due in week 9.