Jeff Pelletier
Depts. of Philosophy, Linguistics
Simon Fraser University





Research Links



PHIL 428 and 522 (University of Alberta): 




Winter Semester 2009


There is now a University of Alberta Page for this course, and the link to the left will send you there. Once there, click on 'courses'.  



PHIL 210 :  Natural Deductive Logic




Fall Semester 2007


This course will study beginning symbolic logic. The thrust of the course is to develop techniques for translating natural language statements (and entire arguments) into a symbolic notation, and then to evaluate whether or not the arguments that are thus represented are valid. We will do this first for the sentence logic and then for predicate logic. This course will not contain any metatheory, but will provide the necessary background for Phil 214.



PHIL 350:   Ancient Greek Philosophy




Spring Semester 2005


An introduction to Ancient Greek Philosophy, starting with the pre-Socratic (i.e., before Socrates) philosophers, discussing Socrates and Plato, and ending with Aristotle..  The thrust of the course will be on the methodology introduced into Western thought by these philosophers, particularly in their epistemology and metaphysics..



PHIL 467 and 812:  Logic and Language




Spring Semester 2004


An investigation into the relationship between natural language and formal logic.  The thrust of the course will be on natural language constructions that are difficult to describe using the formulation of classical first-order logic.  To this end we will look at some alternative logical systems (e.g., many-valued logics and possibly modal logics) as well as non-standard methods of representation in first-order logic.



PHIL 467 and 812:  Topics in Philosophical Logic




Fall Semester 2006


A survey of central topics in Philosophical Logic.  The thrust of the course will be the role of logic in language, as well as in some of the alternatives to classical first-order logic.   We will look at some alternative logical systems (e.g., many-valued logics and possibly modal logics) as well as non-standard methods of representation in first-order logic.  One topic we will look at in detail is vagueness.


PHIL 467 and 855:  Middle-Aged Analytic Philosophy




Spring Semester 2008


A history of analytic philosophy, starting after the foundational work of Frege and early Russell.  We start with Russell's "logical atomism", carry on with logical positivism, follow this with some work in "informal" ordinary language philosophy, and then some more systematic work in ordinary language philosophy.   We will close by looking at some influential work that challenged the methodology of ordinary language philosophy in the 1950s and 1960s. 


COGS 300: Research in Cognitive Science: Reasoning




Fall Semester 2006

This course will be a survey of the topic of reasoning from the points of view of formal logic, linguistic semantics and pragmatics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive psychology. The intent is to see how all these different fields use the notion of reasoning, and what they claim to be standards for correct reasoning.



LING 324 : Introduction to Semantics


Fall Semester 2007

Sentences have meaning and convey information about states of affairs in the world. They do this by being composed of parts that have meaning and describe aspects of the world, and by having these parts combined in specified ways. In turn, these parts are composed of still smaller parts, until we get to the minimal parts (words, or sometimes even smaller parts). Compositional semantics is a study of how this happens. This course studies studies this sort of compositional, truth-conditional semantics by introducing the basic fundamental tools and techniques for this. Of course, sentences are also used by people to convey information. We will discuss how formal aspects of composiitonal meaning are distinguished from the "pragmatic" aspects of meaning involved in the use of language, e.g., context-dependency, speech acts, and conversational implicature.



LING 480 and 812: Generics and Mass Terms




Summer Semester 2004

Spring Semester 2008

This course will be a survey of the topic of genericity and mass vs. count in natural language.  With regards to generics, we will study both reference to kinds and also general truths that admit of exceptions, attempting to understand both their formal semantic representation in English and their manifestation in the languages of the world.  Mass terms are those that are true of stuff; count terms are true of things.  We will here also investigate how these can be semantically described in English and the ways that this distinction plays out in other languages.



LING 406 and 802:  Advanced Semantics




Spring Semester 2005


This course builds on the formal techniques and concepts developed in Ling 324.  The thrust of the course will be on issues of intensionality (including tense and modality), applications of the lambda-operator to natural language semantics, and some more advanced theories of quantification such as Generalized Quantifiers.  These issues will be studied within the framework of possible-worlds semantics.  But we will also consider several issues in word-level semantics, such as the meaning of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.