Topics in Metaphysics|
Fall 2006 not offered
This year we will focus on the notions of possibility and necessity and their role in contemporary analytic metaphysics, possibly including one or more of the following areas: logic, mathematics, time, and causation. Our approach will be historical; we will consider the origins of the metaphysics of necessity in the attempts, in early analytic philosophy, to attain a conception of logic adequate to overthrow 19th century idealism and psychologism. Here in particular we will discuss Bertrand Russell's logic and C. I. Lewis's critique of it. We will see how, subsequent to Lewis, the technical development of the logic of modality eventually became, through Rudolf Carnap's project of reconstructing scientific rationality, an instrument for the revival of Leibniz's traditional metaphysics of possible worlds. If time permits we will discuss how this metaphysics functions in contemporary analytic philosophy.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Prerequisites: [PHIL201 or COL359 or CCIV217] OR PHIL202
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)
Classic and contemporary sources.
|Examination and Assignments: |
One seminar paper, and possibly also other assignments.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This is an advanced seminar in philosophy, and so students will need to have a general background in the history of philosophy, such as acquired from Phil 201 or 202, and some knowledge of logic, such as acquired from Phil 231 or Phil 290, and probably also one course in philosophy beyond the introductory level. In addition, the course is designed to be taken in conjunction with Phil 291, also offered this semester.
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