Schedule and Supporting Materials

For a list of course policies, go here. Please review this document before asking me about course logistics.

Readings that are publicly accessible are hyperlinked below. All other readings are in password-protected directory accessible via the “Readings” tab above. The password is semlogcog. I will post copies of handouts and PowerPoint presentations by the end of each week. Should you miss a class, please ask another student for materials that you did not receive.

We will frequently try to forge connections between readings throughout the week. Bring past readings that will facilitate this task. I will present the specific readings in one-month increments, so as to be able to adapt the schedule according to the flow of discussion.

 

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

 

1

2/22 : No Class

2/24: Introduction

Syllabus & course policies.

Read Portner, “The Fundamental Question” in What is Meaning? [PPT] [Handout] [Video]

2/26: What is Semantics?

Read Kearns, Chapter 1 [PPT] [Handout]

 

2

3/1: The Semantics-Pragmatics Interface

Read Jaszczolt, K. M. (2012). Semantics and Pragmatics: The Boundary Issue. In K. von Heusinger, P. Portner, & C. Maienborn (Eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, (Vol. 3, pp. 2333-2360). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

3/3: Propositional Semantics

Read Kearns, §2.1-§2.2; Read Priest, Ch. 0 (Mathematical Prolegomenon) and §1.1-§1.5

Suggested Background: Papineau, pp. 137-148

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

3/5: Assignment 1   

(As with most other assignments, we will cover this in class.)

 

 

3

3/8  Theories of Truth

Glanzberg, Michael, “Truth“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

Start Researching for Assignment 2

Click here to indicate which experiment you’ll be covering for this assignment.

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

3/10 Material conditionals: linguistic challenges

Read Priest, §1.6-§1.10,

Read §1- §3.1 of Edgington, Dorothy, “Indicative Conditionals“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

Suggested Background:

Nickerson, Ch. 1-2

3/12 Material conditionals: psychological experiments

Read Nickerson, Ch. 3

[PPT] [Handout]

 

4

3/15 Material conditionals: psychological challenges

Nickerson, Chapter 5

[PPT] [Handout]

 

3/17 Has psychology shown that human beings are irrational?

Nickerson, Ch.5 continued

Read Gigerenzer, G. “Bounded and Rational”  in Stainton, R. (2006). Contemporary debates in cognitive science. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 115-133.

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

3/19 Soundness & Completeness

Read Papineau, pp. 149-153; Read Priest, §1.11

[Handout]

 

5

3/22 How do we know that logic is right?

Read Boghossian, P. (2000). “Knowledge of Logic.” In Boghossian, P. & Peacocke, C. New essays on the a priori. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Read through p. 238

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

3/24

Boghossian, pp. 238-254.

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

3/26

Da Costa, Newton C. A., Otávio Bueno, and Steven French. 1998. “Is there a Zande logic?”  History and Philosophy of Logic 19 (1): 41-54. 

[Handout]

 

6

 

3/29 Basic modal semantics:

Read Papineau, pp. 61-69; Read Priest, §2.1-§2.4

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

3/31 Modal Realism

Read Priest, §2.5-§2.8

Read Bricker, P. and Melia, J. (2007) “Modality and Possible Worlds.” in Sider, T. Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics.  Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

I’ll use this time to field any questions you may have about your take-home exam.

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

4/2 Do Assignment 2

Take Home #1 due by 11:59PM Eastern Saturday 4/3

 

7

 

4/5

Normal modal logic:

Read Kearns, §5.1-§5.2

Read Priest, Ch. 3 (skip §3.7)

[PPT] [Handout] [Video]

4/7

Do Assignment 3

Start Researching for Assignments 4. 

Click here to indicate which article you’ll be covering for Assignment 4.

4/9

Break (No Classes)

 

8

4/12 Rule-Checking and Deontic Reasoning

Cosmides, L., and J. Tooby. 2008. “Can a general deontic logic capture the facts of human moral reasoning? How the mind interprets social exchange rules and detects cheaters.” In Moral psychology, Vol 1: The evolution of morality: Adaptations and innateness., 53-119. Cambridge, MA, US: Boston Review.

4/14 Psychology of counterfactuals

Read Nickerson, Ch. 8

Do Assignment 4

4/16

Class Cancelled (It is a VERY GOOD IDEA to use this extra time to complete Assignment 5)

 

9

4/19 

Van Hoeck, Nicole, Patrick D. Watson, and Aron K. Barbey. 2015. “Cognitive neuroscience of human counterfactual reasoning.”  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9 (420).

Do Assignment 5

4/21 Predicate semantics:

Read Kearns §2.3, Ch.3

Read Priest §12.1-§12.5

4/23

Do Assignment 6.

 

 

10

4/26

4/28

 

4/30

 

 

11

5/3

Break (No Classes)

 

5/5

 

 

5/7

 

 

12

 

5/10

 

5/12 

 

5/14

 

 

 

 

13

5/17

 

5/19

5/21

Last Day of Classes,
Last Day to Invoke CR/NCR Option

 

E

X

A

M

5/24

              

5/26 

 

 

5/28 
Final Exams
Take Home #2 due by 11:59PM Eastern