Metaphysics of Modality

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
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Course Description: 

We will begin our examination of the notion with a brief survey of the formal semantics for modal logic and the logic of counterfactuals. We will then look at the various debates on the existence and nature of possible worlds and their inhabitants: realism vs anti realism, actualism vs possibilism, necessitism vs contingentism.


Learning Outcomes: 

We aim to develop the following skills: presenting, with a minimum of jargon, the central claims of our philosophers so that it is clear to a thoughtful n on specialist what these claims mean; providing textual evidence that our interpretation is accurate; making explicit the logical structure of the arguments, which includes uncovering implicit principles and assumptions; and finally, evaluating the arguments for cogency and persuasiveness and considering possible responses to objections.


Regular attendance is required. Participations counts for 10% of the final grade.  The remainder of the grade is determined by written work in the form of a final 2000 word paper (60%) due at the end of the term and a proposal for the paper (30%), due at the end of the 9th week of the term.


At least one course previously taken  in metaphysics