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Module descriptions

7AAN2059 Philosophy of Language

THIS MODULE IS RUNNING IN 2017-18          

Credit value: 20
Module tutor: Dr Eliot Michaelson
Assessment:

2017-18

  • Summative assessment: one two-hour exam (100%)
  • Formative assessment: one 2,000–3,000-word essay

2016-17

  • Summative assessment: one two-hour exam (100%)
  • Formative assessment: two 1,500–2,000-word essays

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

Teaching pattern: one one-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks.
Pre-requisites: none
Sample syllabus: 7AAN2059 module syllabus 2016-17

In the wake of the logical revolution at the end of the 19th century, many philosophers well-versed in formal logic turned their attention to the project of understanding natural language.  This course will examine how these philosophers attempted to make sense of natural language using the tools of modern logic, and how this project of understanding natural language on the basis of formal languages developed over the course of the 20th century, particularly in response to recalcitrant data like metaphors, slurs, and sarcasm.  This module will acquaint students with many classic texts in philosophy of language as well as with some more recent work.  By the end of the module, students will have become familiar with some of the central concepts in philosophy of logic and language.  They will also have learned how to relate some of the issues studied in the course to issues in other courses, such as metaphysics and philosophy of mind.

Further information

Module aims

This module aims to acquaint students with the chief ideas of some leading philosophers of logic and language including Frege, Russell, Strawson, Davidson, Grice and Kripke.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will have become familiar with some of the central concepts in philosophy of logic and language. They will also have learned how to relate some of the issues studied in the course to issues in other courses, such as metaphysics and philosophy of mind.

Past syllabi

7AAN2059 module syllabus 2012-13 (pdf)
7AAN2059 module syllabus 2013-14 (pdf)
7AAN2059 module syllabus 2014-15 (pdf)
7AAN2059 module syllabus 2015-16 (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
  • Gottlob Frege, “On Sense and Reference”
  • Bertrand Russell, “On Denoting”
  • P.F. Strawson, “On Referring”
  • Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity
  • Keith Donnellan “Reference and Definite Descriptions”
Additional course costs
  • Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity (core textbook)
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.Blank space
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