Where logic meets reality. Issues in analytical metaphysics. - AFSV00193
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Eva Mokrejšová (17.06.2014)
Where logic meets reality. Issues in analytical metaphysics.
Petr Dvořák, Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
1/1 winter term
The standard view takes it that truths of logic are knowable a priori and that, consequently, they are necessary. Yet
in analytic philosophy of the latter half of the twentieth century some claimed that not even logical truths are
immune to revision based on empirical discoveries (Quine). Others claimed that there are a posteriori necessary
truths (Kripke), so perhaps some a posteriori considerations might be relevant for truths of logic. It is often said, for
instance, that the sub-atomic quantum world obeys a different "logic" than the classical one. What is meant by that?
Perhaps, roughly, the underlying principle is that not all measurable physical properties have sharp values at the
same time and that there is a genuine indeterminacy out there in the world. What are, in general, the means
available to logic to deal with the thought/language concerning indeterminacy or indefiniteness? Is it necessary to
change the set of logical truths, e.g. to reject the principle of excluded middle, based on the empirical fact that the
world is indeterminate? What are logical truths? What is their revisability? Is it justified?
The course will try to answer some of these questions having to do with the relationship of logic (language,
thought) and reality. The course is open to everyone with some background in philosophy (basic knowledge of the
concepts such as a priori/ a posteriori etc.) and with a basic understanding of logic. So a prerequisite for taking this
course is a passing grade in an introductory course in logic (or a concomitant study of the course). Students without
this knowledge would find the course difficult and not particularly useful.
The course will be based on lectures and some readings relevant to the issues covered in the lecture.
Participants in the course will be given the reading material in advance. In order to pass the course an essay on
some aspect of the material covered pursued in more detail based on the student’s choice and the lecturer’s
approval is required (roughly around 2000 words). Attendance no less than 75 percent of the sessions is required