Course code:



I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Typically offered:

Upon occasion

What is language? What is the relationship between language and thought? Between language and experience? What is meaning? These are some of the central questions of the philosophy of language. They are fundamental not only to large portions to modern philosophy, but also linguistics, computer science and other fields. This course will explore some of the key theories and criticisms that philosophers have developed in answer to these questions about our life with words.

In this course, we will take a historical approach and work our way to the present, exploring classic theories of meaning and language from the early modern period and early analytic philosophers, such as Mill, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and others. Then we will examine criticisms that philosophers have raised over the years, both from texts in the analytic tradition as well as other positions from, for example, ordinary language philosophy, continental approaches. Students will acquire an understanding of those central problems in the philosophy of language; they will also develop philosophical skills in analysing texts, articulating arguments, and presenting complex philosophical material through writing and oral presentations. Introductory/Intermediate.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.