Modal Logic: a graduate class

W. 9-11, Ryle room

Modal logic encompasses a diverse range of non-extensional systems. This graduate class aims to provide a hands-on introduction to this widely-used formal tool, with the option to progress to more advanced topics later in term. The course aims to be accessible to any graduate student in philosophy who has taken a first course in (non-modal) propositional and predicate logic (e.g. The Logic Manual).

The first half of the course covers the semantics and proof theory of some of the main systems of propositional and predicate modal logic. For this part of the course, we’ll use Ted Sider’s textbook, Logic for Philosophy (OUP, 2010).

The provisional schedule is as follows:

Week 1. Modal propositional logic: semantics (LfP 6.1–6.3; review 2.1–2.4 if you need a reminder of non-modal propositional logic). Handout week 1 [.pdf, new tab]

Week 2. Modal propositional logic: proof theory (2.6, 6.4). Handout week 2

Week 3. Quantified modal logic: varying domains (9.5–9.6) Handout week 3

Week 4. Quantified modal logic: some variations. Handout week 4

I recommend that you read the indicated sections of Logic for Philosophy before attending that week’s class.

In the second half of the course, we’ll take up further topics in modal logic tailored to class interests. We could pursue either topics in the metatheory of modal logic (e.g. completeness, decidability, etc.) or extensions and variants of the usual systems of quantified modal logic (e.g. higher-order modal logic).