This page includes a calendar of lecture topics.

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


No knowledge of logic or linguistics is presupposed. One philosophy subject is the only prerequisite.


We will cover these major topics:

  • Sense and Reference, Names and Descriptions
  • Pragmatics
  • Propositional Attitudes
  • Truth
  • Rule Following


Martinich, Aloysius P., ed. The Philosophy of Language. 4th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN: 0195135431.

Kripke, Saul. Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980. ISBN: 0674598466.


There are four assessments for this course: one comprehension exercise (due in week four); one short critical note (due in week eight); and two short papers (due in week twelve and week fifteen).


Assignment One, Comprehension Exercise 10%
Assignment Two, Critical Note 10%
Assignment Three, Short Paper 40%
Assignment Four, Short Paper 40%


Section One: Sense and Reference, Names and Descriptions
1 Frege: On Sense and Nominatum

2 Russell: On Denoting

Russell: Descriptions

3 Quine: Two Dogmas of Empiricism

4-5 Kripke: Naming and Necessity

Putnam: Meaning and Reference

Assignment one due in week #4
6 Strawson: On Referring

Donnellan: Reference and Definite Descriptions

Kripke: Speaker’s Reference and Semantic Reference

7 von Fintel: Would you believe it? The King of France is Back!

Yablo: Non-Catastropic Presupposition Failure

Perry: Problem of the Essential Indexical

Lewis: Attitudes De Dicto and De Se

Section Two: Pragmatics
8 Austin: Performative Utterances

Grice: Logic and Conversation

Assignment two due
9 Lewis: Scorekeeping in a Language Game

Langton: Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts

Langton and West: Scorekeeping in a Pornographic Language Game

10 Lewis: Languages and Language

Section Three: Propositional Attitudes
11 Frege: On Sense and Nominatum

Davidson: On Saying That

12 Kripke: A Puzzle About Belief

Salmon: How to Become a Millian Heir

Assignment three due
13 Crimmins and Perry: The Prince and the Phone Booth

Saul: Substitution and Simple Sentences

Section Four: Truth
14 Frege: On Sense and Nominatum

Tarski: The Semantic Conception of Truth, and the Foundations of Semantics

Stoljar: The Deflationary Theory of Truth

Section Five: Rule Following
15 Kripke: On Rules and Private Language

Millikan: Truth Rules, Hoverflies, and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox

Holton: Meaning and Rule Following

Assignment four due

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

notes Lecture Notes