Philosophy of Language (Phil 471)

Philosophy of language concerns itself with the philosophical study of the  nature and function of language. Some of the central questions are, e.g., how language hooks up to the world—how words can refer to things, how words and sentences get meaning. We will discuss various philosophical theories about meaning and reference in general, as well as more specific investigations of the way reference works (descriptions, demonstratives, and proper names), logical form and grammatical form, and more complex problems arising in the context of propositional attitude (e.g., belief) reports.

Logic I (Phil 279) or Elementary Formal Logic (Phil 377) is a prerequisite for this course.

Required Texts

Peter Ludlow, ed., Readings in the Philosophy of Language. MIT Press, 1997.

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