Philosophy of Language is concerned primarily with the question of meaning: what is it for words or sentences to have meaning? In this module we look at some of the most important theories offered by 20th century philosophers in response to this question – theories that to this day continue to be hugely influential in linguistics and related fields. With each session focusing on the ideas of an individual thinker we explore some of the most radical and provocative questions about language. Why might a sentence such as ‘The King of France is bald’ contain hidden meanings? And when might a name not really be a name? Is it possible to make true statements about, say, Harry Potter? And what might our imagining a ‘twin earth’, identical to our planet in every respect but one, tell us about the nature of meaning? Assuming no prior knowledge of philosophy this module will enhance your understanding of some of the most fundamental and intriguing questions about language.
*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.
Dr Gerard Lum
Module assessment - more information
(1) One 3,000 word essay (100%)