At the Logic Education session at the APA/ASL meeting last week, Branden Fitelson made an excellent suggestion for teachers of graduate level logic courses in philosophy: One of the main problems is that it is often hard to see for students why the stuff they have to learn is relevant to philosophy (or to CS or linguistics, for that matter). Branden’s suggestion is that one should start each topic in such a course with a philosophy paper, or a passage from a philosophy paper, in which the relevant topics are used or referred to. So, e.g., you’d pick a passage from Lewis, or Putnam, and motivate the following topic (completeness, or possible worlds semantics, or what have you) as “we’re now going to figure out what Lewis is saying here.” Now it would be nice to have a repository of such passages/papers–if you have ideas, please post a comment. Here are some examples:
- Quine, The ways of paradox (Ch. 1 in The Ways of Paradox) has a section on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.
- Lucas, Mind, machines and Gödel, Philosophy 36 (1961) for obvious reasons.