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The University of Southampton

PHIL3054 Philosophical Logic

Module Overview

Philosophical logic provides tools for the rigorous study of some of the most central notions of philosophy and of ordinary thought - for instance, necessity and possibility (modal logic), time (temporal logic), moral obligation (deontic logic), and knowledge and belief (epistemic logic). You will learn about some of these logical tools, and use them to explore the philosophical questions that they both raise and help to illuminate. For instance, is your existence necessary? What is the nature of time? Can you be obliged to do something you are unable to do? What’s the difference between knowledge and belief?

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • to learn advanced techniques of philosophical logic, including translating natural language expressions into logical formulae, building counter-models, and constructing proofs.
  • to be introduced to some central questions of philosophical logic, such as those surrounding the notions of necessity and possibility, time, obligation, and knowledge and belief.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Ability to employ advanced techniques of philosophical logic in formulating and evaluating arguments.
  • Ability to articulate and defend your own views in philosophical logic and relate the issues they concern to issues in other areas of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Ability to identify, analyse and assess arguments in a sophisticated way.
  • Ability to present your reasoning in the relevant areas in a perspicuous and rigorous fashion.


The syllabus may vary from year to year. Topics covered may include: 1. Modal logic: the logic of necessity and possibility 2. Temporal logic: the logic of time 3. Deontic logic: the logic of what is permissible and obligatory 4. Epistemic logic: the logic of knowledge and belief 5. Models and counter-models 6. Validity proofs

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - Lectures - In-class discussion - One to one consultation with the module coordinator Learning activities include: - Attending lectures - Contributing to class discussion - Preparing for and completing the assessment tasks

Independent Study117
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

John P. Burgess (2009). Philosophical Logic. 



Exercises and Quizzes


MethodPercentage contribution
Class Test  (90 minutes) 50%
Examination  (90 minutes) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

PHIL1016 or PHIL2014


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Textbook purchase

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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