news of various kinds, from 2010 to the present (I keep this roughly up to date.)
work:Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia
1866 Main Mall E370 , Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Canada
2055 Pendrell Street, apartment 2001
Vancouver V6G 1T9, Canada
teach an unusual introduction to symbolic logic, in which the central
idea is not consequence (argument, deduction) but search.
Consequence drops out as a special case. It works better,
both pedagogically and intellectually. My notes for the course
are a draft textbook, and my aim is to make them into an e-book.
Here is the latest version of the draft textbook
A little more detail: The aim is to give a course which covers the standard symbolic logic topics but
- the class and the teacher actually discuss. You don't just put up your hand when you don't understand something.
- it doesn't have to start with lies about the place of deduction in reasoning
- students get more confidence and more facility with mathematical-flavoured thinking
to this end
the focus is not on deduction but on search in databases. (Databases
are first order models, really.) Students learn for example how
to approximate Boolean search on Google. Logical consequence drops out
as a special case.
we discuss the linguistic obstacles to phrasing a statement so it has
the consequences you want, or a search command so it gets the items you
want. scope, order, kinds of negation, separation of variables
.., I play with invented quasi-English to make some of these
clearer. (I'm intending to rob the world's languages,
particularly non-Indo-European ones, for ways of making points about
* CRC link
a forum link