University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Philosophy of Language

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit covers the traditional texts and areas in the philosophy of language. The texts covered will include those of frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein whereas the topics covered will include, sense and reference, definite descriptions, proper names, natural-kind terms, de re and de dicto necessity, propositonal attitudes, speech acts, and intentional theories of meaning among others.

Study-unit Aims

There are two aims to this study-unit: the first is hermeneutic in that students will be expected to read and familiarise themselves with the key texts in the philosophy of language; the second is conceptual in that students will be expected to engage critically with the concepts discussed in the philosophy of langauge.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- recognise the various theories of language;
- explain the concepts that belong to the different theories of language.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- interpret and rank the various theories of language;
- analyze a position on the philosophy of language and conduct either a critique or a defence of it.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Hale, B and Wright, C. (eds) A companion to the philosophy of language (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999)
Hornsby, J and Longworth, G. Reading philosophy of language : selected texts with interactive commentary (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)
Morris, Michael. An introduction to the philosophy of language (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)
Platts, de Bretton Mark. Ways of meaning: an introduction to a philosophy of language (U.S.A: MIT Press, 1999).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Examination (1 Hour) Yes 50%

LECTURER/S John Avellino
Joseph Friggieri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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