This biannual learning unit is being organized in 2020-2021
At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :
At the end of the course the student should be able to understand the background of current debates in logic
- understood as including the theory of argumentation (rhetoric) and philosophy of language
- and eventually be able to conduct research in one of these areas.
At the end of the course the student should :
- Be able to use certain specific tools for research in logic and philosophy of language ;
- Have a good general grasp of the breadth of contemporary research, and if appropriate, of the history of logic and philosophy of language ;
- Be able to make use of contributions from other disciplines in philosophical research in logic and philosophy of language.
Franz Berto, University of St Andrews and University of Amsterdam
The Topics of Thought
Intentionality is a feature of some mental states: that of being about, that is, directed towards, objects, situations, states of affairs. Propositional or de dicto intentional states are states having propositions as their contents. These are recorded linguistically by verbs taking sentential complements and expressing attitudes towards said contents, such as ‘believes (that)’, ‘knows (that)’, ‘imagines (that)’, ‘supposes (that)’, ‘is informed (that)’. One may use the generic term ‘thought’ as a cover-all for such intentional states.
In these lectures, I will talk about thoughts, so understood, and what they are about: their topics, as I will say. I will present a new framework for the logic of thought – a unified way of replying to the question: given that one thinks (believes, knows, etc.) something, what else must one think (believe, know, etc.), as a matter of logic? Under which logical operations is one’s thought closed?
The foundations of a logic of intentional states must lie in a general theory of propositions. What Qs one must think, as a matter of logical necessity, because one thinks that P, must depend on the contents of P and Q. Two-component semantics is a theory of propositional content, based on the insight that propositions must feature two irreducible components: (1) truth conditions, and (2) topics. Whereas (1) is familiar, (2) will be introduced and explained in some detail.
Two-component semantics is hyperintensional: it individuates contents in a more fine-grained way than standard intensional or possible worlds semantics. But possible worlds semantics has been a 20th Century philosophical success story: it has been used extensively to analyze the aforementioned notions – knowledge, belief, information – and more. These lectures will also discuss, thus, a number of problems for such applications of possible world semantics.
- ‘An established maxim in metaphysics’: Conceivability, Possibility, and Hume’s Other Principle
- Some Problems of Possible Worlds Semantics
- Tractatus 4.024 vs. Tractatus 5.122
- Topics and Possible Worlds: Two-Component Semantics
- Topic-Sensitive Intentionality: Knowledge, Belief, Imagination
- Indicative Conditionals: Probabilities and Topicality
- Framed Believers: Thinking About Something Else
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.Ex cathedra classes and classes based on student presentations
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.January:
5/20 of the final grade: an oral presentation of an article written by Franz Berto (in group)
15/20 of the final grade: oral exam on the basis of a question chosen from a list of 10 questions communicated to students during the final class of the term.
5/20 of the final grade: a written work on a subject studied in the course
15/20 of the final grade: oral exam on the basis of a question chosen from a list of 10 questions communicated to students at the start of the exam period.
- Leon Horsten. The Tarskian Turn: Deflationism and Axiomatic Truth. MIT Press (2011).
- Truth and Truth-Making. E. J. Lowe & A. Rami (eds.). Mcgill-Queen's University Press (2009).
- Lynch, M. P. Mcgill (ed.). The Nature of Truth. MIT Press (2001).
- Blackburn, Simon and Simmons, Keith (eds.), 1999, Truth, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.). Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press (2012)