PHIL 658: Philosophy of Language (Fall 2001)
- Place and Time: Tuesday/Thursday
- Instructor: Robin Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Office thereof: Bolton 314
- Telephone thereat: 845-5696
The text for this class is:
Structure of this course
My plan is to treat three general topics in a rather general way,
The readings listed below generally start with selected papers from
Martinich and follow these with essays from Hale/Wright, but that's
only generally true. I have listed two or three papers per week, but
it's pretty likely that we will wind up adding to, subtracting from,
and otherwise altering this schedule. Your comments and suggestions
- Meaning and Truth
- Language and the World (or: Realism and Its Opposite)
- I will expect you to do a classroom presentation of an
article (which will involve explaining the argument of the article,
setting it in its context in the development of the philosophy of
language, and perhaps commenting on its successes or failures).
- There will be a written exam roughly halfway through (on the
essays we've read from Martinich)
- I will expect a term paper of 15-25 pages at the end of the
Readings for the first half of the class are on a fairly tight
schedul in order to get some basic material covered. For the
second half, the schedule will be determined in part by
directions of individual interest and by the number of people in
the class, but we are certainly going to spend more time on the
topics of reference and truth.
In the list below:
(M) = Martinich
(H/W) = Hale & Wright
- Aug. 28: To get started.
Assignments for first days of class are always
matters of historical record, but:
- Please read Martinich's "Introduction" (pp. 1-27),
- If you
have never read Frege's "On Sense and Nominatum" (or "On Sense
and Reference", or "Über Sinn und Bedeutung") or
Russell's "On Denoting", do that now too.
- Sept. 4: Reference: Old Theories
Please read all six essays in Martinich's Section III,
"Reference and Descriptions". I will be putting special
emphasis on four:
- (M) Frege, "On Sense and Nominatum"
- (M) Russell, "On Denoting"
- (M) Strawson, "On Referring"
- (M) Donnellan, "Reverence and Definite Descriptions"
- Sept. 11: Class was cancelled.
- Sept. 18: Reference: New Theories
- (M) Kripke, "Naming and Necessity" (Huizenga)
- (M) Putnam, "Meaning and Reference"
- (M) Evans, "The Causal Theory of Names"
- Sept. 25: More about Rigid Designators
- (H/W) Hale, "Modality"
- (H/W) Forbes, "Essentialism" (Haugen)
- (H/W) Stalnaker, "Reference and Necessity"
- Oct. 2: Still More about Reference
- (M) Evans, "The Causal Theory of Names" (Gould)
- (H/W) Stanley, "Names and Rigid Designation"
- (H/W) Perry, "Indexicals and Demonstratives"
- (H/W) Lowe, "Objects and Criteria of Identity"
- Oct. 9: Meaning, Truth, and Semantics
- (M) Tarski, "The Semantic Conception of Truth"
- (M) Davidson, "Truth and Meaning" (Grimes)
- Good place to hand out some exam questions, this is.
- Oct. 16: Meaning and Criteria of Meaningfulness
- (M) Hempel, "Empiricist Criteria of Cognitive Significance"
- (M) Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (Demetriou)
- (H/W) Boghossian, "Analyticity" (Robinson)
- Appropriate place to have exam question answers returned.
- Oct. 23: Some Reflections on Meaning and Truth
- (H/W) Wiggins, "Meaning and Truth Conditions: from Frege's Grand
Design to Davidson's"
- (H/W) Skorupski, "Meaning, Use, Verification"
- (H/W) Loewer, "A Guide to Naturalizing Semantics"
- Oct. 30: Linguistic Holism
- (H/W) Wright, "The Indeterminacy of Translation"
- (H/W) Heal, "Radical Interpretation"
- (H/W) Peacocke, "Holism" (Di Fate)
- Nov. 6: Private-Language Arguments
- (M) Cook, "Wittgenstein on Privacy"
- (M) Kripke, "On Rules and Private Language" (Sutton)
- Nov. 13: More about Private Language Arguments
- (H/W) Hale, "Rule-Following, Objectivity, and Meaning"
- (M) Millikan, "Truth Rules, Hoverflies, and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox" (Belsher)
- Nov. 20: An Interlude on Language and Communication
- (M) Austin, "Performative Utterances" (Sibley)
- (M) Grice, "Logic and Conversation"
- (H/W) Travis, "Pragmatics"
- Nov. 27: Realism and Antirealism
- (H/W) Hale/Wright, "Putnam's Model-Theoretic Argument against
- (H/W) Hale, "Realism and Its Oppositions"
- Dec. 4:
- Dec. 12: FINAL PAPERS DUE