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Philosophy of Language - PHL281

Think of language as the interaction between words, speakers, and the world. In this unit, we take a philosophical look at these three elements and how they interact. Thought of in this way, language has been a central concern for the most important analytic philosophers of the twentieth century. For such philosophers as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine and Kripke, the analysis of language is central to the study of philosophy itself, and the questions that concerned them will be the questions that concern us. One such set of questions is about language itself: How can we best study the nature and structure of language? A further set of questions concerns the connection between language and reality: What is the relationship between words and the world? Do words have meanings because they refer to things? Does the way we see the world depend on the words we use? And a final set of questions concerns the connections between language and thought: Is there a language of thought? Is language innate in any important way? Does public meaning derive from thought, or does the very possibility of thinking depend on the existence of public language? These and related questions, along with the answers given by key philosophers of language, are the focus of our investigations throughout the unit.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

TBD - Not offered in the current year; next offering is to be determined

Staff Contact(s): Dr Albert Atkin

(12cp at 100 level or above) or admission to GDipArts Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): PHIL281
Unit Designation(s):


Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Philosophy

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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