24.251 | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Philosophy of Language



[Lycan] = Lycan, William G. Philosophy of Language: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy). 2nd ed. Routledge, 2008. ISBN: 9780415957526. 

[Martinich] = Martinich, Aloysius P., ed. The Philosophy of Language. 5th ed. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780195188301.

1 Introduction (no readings)
2 Meaning and reference

“Introduction.” Chapter 1 in [Lycan]. 

Frege, Gottlob. “On Sense and Nominatum.” Chapter 14 in [Martinich].

3 Descriptions

“Definite Descriptions.” Chapter 2 in [Lycan].

Russell, Bertrand. “On Denoting.” Chapter 15 in [Martinich].

4 Names and descriptions

“Proper Names, The Description Theory.” Chapter 3 in [Lycan]. 

Russell, Bertrand. “Descriptions.” Chapter 16 in [Martinich].

5 Direct reference

“Proper Names, Direct Reference.” Chapter 4 in [Lycan]. 

Kripke, Saul. “Naming and Necessity.” Chapter 21 in [Martinich].

6 What is meaning?

“Traditional Theories of Meaning.” Chapter 5 in [Lycan]. 

Frege, Gottlob. “The Thought: A Logical Inquiry.” Chapter 1 in [Martinich].

7 Empiricist theories

“Verificationism.” Chapter 8 in [Lycan]. 

Hempel, Carl G. “Empiricist Criteria of Cognitive Significance.” Chapter 2 in [Martinich].

Quine, W. V. “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” Chapter 3 in [Martinich].

8 Psychological theories

“Psychological Theories.” Chapter 7 in [Lycan].

Grice, H. P. “Meaning.” Chapter 6 in [Martinich].

9 Truth-conditional theories

“Truth-conditional Theories.” Chapters 9 and 10 in [Lycan].

Davidson, Donald. “Truth and Meaning.” Chapter 7 in [Martinich].

Lewis, David. “Languages and Language.” Chapter 45 in [Martinich].

10 Context sensitivity

“Semantic Pragmatics.” Chapter 11 in [Lycan].

Kaplan, David. “Dthat.” Chapter 25 in [Martinich].

11 The essential indexical

Kaplan, David. “On the Logic of Demonstratives.” Chapter 26 in [Martinich].

Perry, John. “The Problem of the Essential Indexical.” Chapter 27 in [Martinich].

12 The Kripkenstein paradox Kripke, Saul. “On Rules and Private Language.” Chapter 43 in [Martinich].
13 Naturalistic reduction Millikan, Ruth Garrett. “Truth Rules, Hoverflies, and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox.” Chapter 44 in [Martinich].
14 Speech acts

“Speech Acts and Illocutionary Force.” Chapter 12 in [Lycan].

Austin, J. L. “Performative Utterances.” Chapter 8 in [Martinich].

15 Illocutionary force

Searle, John R. “The Structure of Illocutionary Acts.” Chapter 9 in [Martinich].

———. “A Taxonomy of Illocutionary Acts.” Chapter 10 in [Martinich].

16 Presupposition

Stalnaker, Robert. “Presuppositions.” Journal of Philosophical Logic 2, no. 4 (1973): 447–57.

Fintel, Kai von. “Would You Believe It? The King of France is Back! (Presuppositions and Truth-Value Intuitions).” In Descriptions and Beyond. Edited by Marga Reimer and Anne Bezuidenhout. Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 315–41. ISBN: 9780199270521. [Preview with Google Books]

17 Assertion

Stalnaker, Robert. “Assertion.” Chapter 13 in [Martinich].

Yablo, Stephen. “Non-Catastrophic Presupposition Failure.” In Content and Modality: Themes From The Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker. Edited by Judith Thomson and Alex Byrne. Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 164–90. ISBN: 9780199282807.

18 Implicature

“Implicative Relations.” Chapter 13 in [Lycan].

Grice, H. P. “Logic and Conversation.” Chapter 11 in [Martinich].

19 Attitudes, the hidden indexical theory

Crimmins, Mark, and John Perry. “The Prince and the Phone Booth: Reporting Puzzling Beliefs.” The Journal of Philosophy 86, no. 12 (1989): 685–711.

Saul, Jennifer M. “Substitution and Simple Sentences.” Analysis 57, no. 2 (1997): 102–8.

20 Attitudes, the implicature theory

Braun, David. “Understanding Belief Reports.” The Philosophical Review 107, no. 4 (1998): 555–95.

Salmon, Nathan. “How to Become a Millian Heir.” Noûs 23, no. 2 (1989): 211–20.

21 Attitudes, the pragmatic theory Stalnaker, Robert. “Semantics for Belief.” Chapter 33 in [Martinich].
22 Non-literal speech

“Metaphor.” Chapter 14 in [Lycan].

Davidson, Donald. “What Metaphors Mean.” Chapter 34 in [Martinich].

23 Making believe Walton, Kendall. “Metaphor and Prop Oriented Make-Believe.” European Journal of Philosophy 1, no. 1 (1993): 39–57.
24 Semantic pretense and attitude ascriptions Crimmins, Mark. “Hesperus and Phosphorous: Sense, Pretense, and Reference.” Chapter 36 in [Martinich].
25 Pragmatic pretense and  Frege problems

Kroon, Frederick. “Descriptivism, Pretense, and the Frege-Russell Problems.” Chapter 37 in [Martinich].

Walton, Kendall. “Existence As Metaphor?” In Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-existence. Edited by Anthony Everett and Thomas Hofweber. CLSI Publications, 2000, pp. 69–94. ISBN: 9781575862538.

26 Humpty Dumpty, malaprop, etc. Davidson, Donald. “A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs.” Chapter 40 in [Martinich].

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Fall 2011
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Lecture Notes