PHIL360     Philosophy of Language
Semester:Fall 2013
Instructor: Alexander Williams
Room:SKN 1112
Meeting Times:9:30am - 10:45am

This is an introduction to philosophical thought about meaning in human language. We will trace a century-old tradition, starting with Frege, that treats truth and reference as the bases of analysis, and firmly separates the meaning of an expression from the purposes that use of the expression may serve. Throughout, we will be observe a tension between (more) cognitive and (more) contextual understandings of `meaning' and `language.' The animating disagreements of the field often center on which of these is more deserving of philosophical and scientific attention. Among the specific topics we will discuss are:
- truth in the account of meaning
- reference: descriptions and names
- logical versus grammatical form
- internalism versus externalism
- intention in the account of meaning / implicature
- opacity in belief reports