Philosophy 1880: Requirements

The course will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 10am, in Wilson 203. Class meetings will consist primarily of lectures.

The text for the course is Computability and Logic, by Boolos, Burgess, and Jeffrey. Please get a copy of the latest edition, the fifth. The fourth edition is available on Josiah. But please do not just download pirated copies of this book. The people who wrote this book worked very hard to do so, and it is not one of those textbooks that is exorbitantly priced.

As with any mathematical subject-matter, it is impossible to learn this material without doing a lot of exercises. The book contains many, and problem sets drawing upon these exercises will need to be submitted several times during the semester. Students are encouraged to work on the problems together---though, of course, submitted material should be a student's own work.

There will be a final examination during the final exam period.

Final grades will be determined by a variety of factors.

Problem sets are due in class on the day specified. I will not accept late problem sets. On the other hand, you will find that I am quite prepared to grant extensions, so long as they are requested in advance, that is, at least one day prior to the due-date. Extensions will not be granted after that time except in very unusual and unfortunate circumstances. Because I am so reasonable, exploitation of my reasonableness will be taken badly.


Formally speaking, Philosophy 0540 or 1630 is a prerequisite for this course. But really, we will just be presuming a familiarity with basic logical notation, with how it can be used to represent the `logical forms' of ordinary English statements and of mathematical claims, and with basic facts about validity, implication, and formal deduction. So you should understand what something like ∀x∃y(Fxy) might mean, and how it would differ from ∃y∀x(Fxy). And you should understand what it means to say that the latter implies the former, but not conversely, and how this could be shown.

Less specifically, this course is very mathematical in content. Perhaps the most important thing a student will need to be successful is a solid understanding of what it is to prove something mathematically. No particular mathematical knowledge is presumed, but a familiarity with `mathematical induction' will be very helpful.

Richard Heck Department of Philosophy Brown University