PHIL 658: Philosophy of Language (Fall 2001)


The text for this class is:

Structure of this course

My plan is to treat three general topics in a rather general way, generally speaking:
  1. Reference
  2. Meaning and Truth
  3. Language and the World (or: Realism and Its Opposite)
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 are welcome.

Formal Work

  1. 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).
  2. There will be a written exam roughly halfway through (on the essays we've read from Martinich)
  3. I will expect a term paper of 15-25 pages at the end of the course.


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