PHIL 3034OL - Logic, Truth and Reason: The Ways of Paradox

Online - Semester 1 - 2019

Formal logic (the kind of thing studied in Introduction to Logic) attempts to make precise our ordinary conceptions of inference and argument. This course considers a number of challenges to the success of that attempt. Some have argued that formal logic cannot capture some aspects of ordinary argument: for example, many have found the logical conditional to be quite different from English 'if'. Moreover, some of those ordinary conceptions seems to give rise to paradoxes: apparently well-founded reasoning to absurd conclusions. This might arise when it comes to vague language (words like 'bald' or 'tall'), or when it comes to the notion of truth. Finally, we look at whether logic, or some other formal representation, manages to capture the principles governing human practical reasoning and decision. Dealing as it does with formal issues in logic, Introduction to Logic or some other first year course with substantial formal content and a component of logic (such as introductory Pure Mathematics or Computer Science courses), are highly recommended. Students without such background may wish to consult the course coordinator as to the suitability of this course for their program of study. This course is offered externally in parallel with the internal mode offering Logic, Truth and Reason. Students will access recorded lectures at a time of their choosing. An asynchronous discussion forum and online quizzes constitute the remaining structured learning activities associated with this course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 3034OL
    Course Logic, Truth and Reason: The Ways of Paradox
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Incompatible PHIL 2049
    Assumed Knowledge PHIL 1110 or equivalent (MATHS 1013, COMP SCI 1101)
    Course Description Formal logic (the kind of thing studied in Introduction to Logic) attempts to make precise our ordinary conceptions of inference and argument. This course considers a number of challenges to the success of that attempt. Some have argued that formal logic cannot capture some aspects of ordinary argument: for example, many have found the logical conditional to be quite different from English 'if'. Moreover, some of those ordinary conceptions seems to give rise to paradoxes: apparently well-founded reasoning to absurd conclusions. This might arise when it comes to vague language (words like 'bald' or 'tall'), or when it comes to the notion of truth. Finally, we look at whether logic, or some other formal representation, manages to capture the principles governing human practical reasoning and decision.

    Dealing as it does with formal issues in logic, Introduction to Logic or some other first year course with substantial formal content and a component of logic (such as introductory Pure Mathematics or Computer Science courses), are highly recommended. Students without such background may wish to consult the course coordinator as to the suitability of this course for their program of study.

    This course is offered externally in parallel with the internal mode offering Logic, Truth and Reason. Students will access recorded lectures at a time of their choosing. An asynchronous discussion forum and online quizzes constitute the remaining structured learning activities associated with this course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Antony Eagle

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate understanding of some central philosophical debates in contemporary philosophy of logic and language.
    2. Analyse contemporary and historical argumentative texts and extract the relevant views and arguments from them.
    3. Accurately present philosophical arguments in written form and oral contexts (individual and/or group).
    4. Evaluate philosophical arguments about logic and paradoxes, providing appropriate grounds.
    5. Identify and use relevant evidence to support hypotheses concerning logic and paradoxes.
    6. Present a sustained argumentative case in written form, addressing potential counterarguments and objections.
    7. Understand and use a variety of formal approaches to model and represent paradoxical reasoning
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3,4,5,7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2,3,4,5,7
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3,6,7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2,3,6,7
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Set readings are provided online through an electronic reading list distributed through MyUni. There is also a set textbook which contains core topics, plus useful supplementary material:

    R M Sainsbury (2009), Paradoxes. Cambridge University Press, 3rd ed.

    Copies of the set text will be available through the Co-op.
    Online Learning
    This course is offered online only. Students will access course materials through MyUni, including lecture recordings. Students are expected to participate in online asynchronous discussion forums each week with the lecturer and other students, pertaining to a set topic prompt for each week.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    WORKLOADTOTAL HOURS
    STRUCTURED LEARNING
    1 x 2 hour lecture (recorded) per week 24 hours per semester
    1 hour (or equivalent) participation in discussion forums 12 hours per semester
    SELF–DIRECTED LEARNING
    Required reading, 4.5 hours per week 54 hours per semester
    Discussion forum preparation, 1 hour per week 12 hours per semester
    Assignment preparation, 4.5 hours per week (average) 54 hours per semester
    TOTAL 156 hours
    ​
    Learning Activities Summary
    WEEKLECTURE TOPIC
    1 Introduction: The Nature of paradox.
    Part I: Vagueness
    2 Vagueness introduced. Supervaluationism
    3 Vagueness and degrees of truth
    4 Vagueness and ignorance
    Part II: Rational Belief and Action
    5 Degrees of belief; the preface and lottery paradoxes
    6 Puzzles of Rational Decision
    7 Puzzles of evidence: confirmation and induction
    Part III: Truth
    8 Truth and the Liar
    9 Dialetheism
    Part IV: Conditionals
    10 The English ‘if’ and the logical arrow
    11 Modal conditionals, modus ponens, and import-export
    12 Radical views: Suppositions and restrictions
    ​
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    SGDE experiences are provided through individual and group participation in weekly discussion forums – in-person workshops for the internal mode delivery of this course, and via online asynchronous discussions forums for the external mode delivery. Students are involved in small groups and, after a set period of contribution has elapsed, share the results of their small group discussion with the whole group, and learn from peers about the results of discussions in other groups. (Groups are set different topics.) These activities build skills in accurate recording, summarization, presentation, and communication, and are student led in terms of focus and content. The lecturer monitors the discussion forum, both in person and online, and will intervene strategically with each group individually to take note of discussion and to suggest questions for further discussion as well as facilitate the whole discussion.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    ASSESSMENT TASKTASK TYPEWEIGHTINGCOURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S)
    Weekly online quizzes Summative/Formative 40% 1,2,3,4,7
    Research Essay (2500 words) Summative 50% 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Weekly discussion forum Formative/Summative 10% 1,2,3,4,5
    ​
    Assessment Detail

    Weekly online quizzes

    Students take 10 weekly online quizzes; best 8 count 5% each. A mixture of question types including some multiple choice. Reinforcing technical skills. 40% weighting.

    Research essay

    Essay of ~2500 words covering a topic from the course, or by negotiation. Essays will be expected to go beyond prescribed course material and will require further research. 50% weighting.

    Weekly discussion forum

    Students participate in weekly graded online discussion forum, providing short answers to prior set questions and interacting with peer responses. Evaluation focussed primarily on participation and development of ideas and skills, rather than summative achievement. 15% weighting, equal contribution from each discussion.

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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