Course Meeting Times
Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session
Course Philosophy and Goals
The seminar will be devoted to understanding what we're up to when we ascribe contents to a person's assertions and mental attitudes. We seek to make clear the rules of the game for the philosophy of language. We'll survey classic discussions of the issue by Field, Lewis and Stalnaker. But much of the emphasis of the class will be on getting clear about the limitations of our theoretical tools. I'd like to focus on places where our theorizing runs into trouble, or breaks down altogether.
High level graduate students with sufficient training to participate in sophisticated in-class discussion. A Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy should be adequate preparation to do the course readings.
Course grades will be based on the completion of a final paper. See assignments for more information.
Recommended Reference Texts
Field, Hartry. Truth and the Absence of Fact. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780199242894.
Lewis, David. Philosophical Papers. Vol. 1. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1983. ISBN: 9780195032048.
———. Papers in Philosophical Logic. Vol. 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780521587884.
Stalnaker, Robert. Inquiry. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1987. ISBN: 9780262691130.
———. Context and Content. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780198237075.
||Modeling a representation system (I)
||Modeling a representation system (II)
||Lewis on radical interpretation
||The language of thought
||Grammar for a radical interpreter
Abilities and incoherent belief
Guest lecture: Adam Elga, Princeton University
||Believing necessary truths: Mary
||Representing degrees of belief
||Hare on self-location