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Module descriptions

7AAN2051 Modal Logic

THIS MODULE IS RUNNING IN 2017-18          

Credits: 20
Module tutor: TBC


  • Summative assessment: one two-hour exam (100%)
  • Formative assessment: regular logic exercises


  • Summative assessment: one two-hour exam (100%)
  • Formative assessment: regular logic exercises

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour back-up class. 
Additional information: the two-hour lecture will be shared with students taking 6AANB031 Modal Logic, but they will otherwise be subject to different requirements 

Availability: view module availability for current/next academic year

  • This module will be taking more of a formal, technical approach to its material than a philosophical one: it is important that students should have some prior competence in elementary symbolic logic or mathematics

Syllabus: 7AAN2051 module syllabus 2015-16 (pdf)

Ways the world might have been, what could or could not have been the case, what is contingent, possible, impossible or necessary — these matters enter into almost every area of philosophy; in metaphysics and philosophical logic they are crucial. Modal Logic is the framework for dealing with these matters in a precise and systematic way. The course presents various formal systems of propositional and quantified modal logic and possible worlds semantics for them, proves soundness and completeness, and discusses their varying metaphysical presuppositions and commitments with respect to identity, referentiality, necessity. 

Further information

Module aims

To give students an understanding of

  • the Kripke semantics for propositional and quantified modal logic
  • the tableaux methods to test for validity in a variety of modal logics
  • Varying- and constant domain models and the Barcan formulas
  • modal theories of identity, denotation, and existence
  • predicate abstraction in modal logic
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a level-7 module and in particular will be able to demonstrate that they have:

  • understanding of a logical analysis of notions of `possibility’, `necessity’
  • understanding of the general form of alethic, epistemic, temporal, deontic modalities
  • application of modal logical methods to the analysis of philosophical problems concerning reference, identity and necessity
  • understanding of the Barcan formulas
  • ability to test modal arguments for validity
Past syllabi

7AAN2051 module syllabus 2011-12 (pdf)

Download the 2013-14 syllabus (pdf)

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.

More detailed information on the current year’s module (including the syllabus for that year) can be accessed on KEATS by all students and staff. 

Core reading

Fitting , M. & Mendelsohn, R. First-Order Modal Logic. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Hughes, G. & Cresswell, M. A New Introduction to Modal Logic

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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