You are on page 1of 2

.

The Paper

The Logic and Metaphysics paper covers many of the central problems of philosophy. Do not be misled by the occurrence of the word logic' in the title of the paper: it is not primarily about formal logic (the sort of thing you will have learned in your first year but about what is sometimes called Philosophical Logic'. Philosophical Logic is about philosophical problems that arise in reflecting on logic! and in applying logic to the following areas: the analysis of reasoning (e.g. validity! conditionals " the study of aspects of natural language (e.g. names! descriptions " the treatment of certain traditional metaphysical problems (e.g. truth! e#istence! necessity .

$ou are e#pected! of course! to %now the basics of elementary logic: the propositional calculus and predicate calculus. $ou should understand the truth&functional account of the sentential connectives ( and'! or'! not'! if...then...' and if and only if' and how to use truth&tables to test for validity. $ou should have an understanding of the e#istential and universal 'uantifiers! and the notion of a variable! and you should also %now how the propositional and predicate calculi can be supplemented by the modal operators necessarily' and possibly'. (n short! the course assumes as much logic as is contained in an elementary logic te#tboo% such as )odges's Logic! ()armondsworth: Penguin! *+,, ! or -uttenplan's Languages of Logic! (. nd ed. /#ford: 0asil 0lac%well! *++, . (1 useful handboo% that summarises the main elements of predicate logic and set theory is 2ohn Polloc%! Technical Methods in Philosophy! (0oulder! 3olo.: 4estview Press! *++5 . 4hat about metaphysics6 Li%e many terms in philosophy! the term metaphysics' does not have one clear and uncontroversial definition. The term originally derives from the name of 1ristotle's Metaphysics which was so&called because it came straight after his Physics in the ordering of his wor%s. These days! metaphysics is normally ta%en to cover very general 'uestions about what there is and how the world wor%s: 'uestions about substance! identity! universals! time and causation! for instance. Many of the problems addressed will be familiar from the study of the history of philosophy! particularly from those philosophers found in the Modern Philosophy paper. The way in which many of these sub7ects are treated in contemporary philosophy means that there is considerable overlap of issues in the philosophy of logic and metaphysics as conceived by the philosophers of the Modern period. (This is particularly obvious in the issues concerning necessity! truth! realism! essence! identity and e#istence. -iven this! it is not really possible to draw a sharp line between what is logic' and what is

metaphysics'! and the paper is not divided into sections.