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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: Conditionals (PHIL10154)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is a general introduction to the meaning and logic of conditionals. The aim is to provide a thorough understanding of the complexities involved in explicating the meaning and logic of various types of conditional constructions.
Course description This course is intended to be a general introduction to the analysis of the meaning and logic of conditionals. The aim is to provide the students with a thorough understanding of the complexities involved in accounting for the meaning and logic of various types of conditional statements including indicative conditionals, subjunctive conditionals, anankastic conditionals and biscuit conditionals. Moreover, the course aims to show how a linguistic/philosophical analysis of conditionals can help illuminate other important notions such as conditional judgments and conditional obligations.
The course will begin with a recap of the standard treatments of conditionals in propositional (modal) logic (material implication and strict implication). After this, five of the most influential views of conditionals will be introduced and discussed, namely the "variably-strict" analysis (Lewis, Stalnaker), the "no truth-value" view (Edgington, Gibbard), the "restrictor" view (Lewis, Kratzer), the "conditionals as definite descriptions" view (Schlenker), and finally the "dynamic strict implication" view (von Fintel, Gillies).
After this part of the course, other types of conditionals will be considered, in particular anankastic conditionals (Sæbø, Iatridou and von Fintel), biscuit conditionals (DeRose and Grandy), and conditional conjunctions and disjunctions.
Towards the end of the course, he interplay between modals and conditionals will be discussed, possibly covering Kolodny and MacFarlane's Miner's Puzzle.
Students will be required to give at least one presentation during the course and this presentation will account for 20% of the student's grade. In the course, we will focus on class discussion rather than lecture style teaching.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Logic 1 (PHIL08004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Development of core skills in philosophy, including interpreting and critically engaging with philosophical texts, evaluating arguments and theories, and developing one's own ideas in response to the issues discussed.
  2. A thorough understanding of standard analyses of conditionals and an ability to identify and distinguish different types of conditional constructions and explicate their differences.
  3. A capability to engage with philosophical analyses using conditionals.
  4. An ability to write a precise and critical essay on state of the art research on conditionals.
  5. An ability to read and present the contents of a research article.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Anders Schoubye
Course secretaryMiss Susan Richards
Tel: (0131 6)51 3733
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