Philosophy of language

A.Y. 2019/2020
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/05
Language
English
Learning objectives
The aim of teaching is to provide in-depth knowledge of some of the classical topics of the philosophy of language which already have been addressed in an introductory way in the courses of philosophy of language for the Laurea Triennale, such as the relationship between language and thought, the nature of meaning and of the basic rules of linguistic communication. An additional objective of teaching is to familiarize the students with the formal instruments required to address the contemporary literature on the topics discussed.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding
At the end of the course the students
- have in-depth knowledge of some important aspects of the contemporary debate on the nature of meaning, the relationship between language and thought, and on the mechanisms of linguistic communication;
- know part of the relevant scientific literature on the topics discussed;
- know the important implications of some of the advanced theoretical proposals by philosophers of language for metaphysics, epistemology, or the philosophy of mind.
Ability to Apply Knowledge and Understanding
At the end of the course the students
- have the ability of analyzing complex arguments in the context of the philosophy of language, also with regard to hypotheses in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics;
- are in a position to formulate significant objections to the diverse theoretical approaches;
- are able to successfully indicate the argument strategies used by the diverse advanced theories in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, and metaphysics in order to respond to various objections.
Course syllabus and organization

A

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Throughout this course we employ conceptual tools of semantics and analytic metaphysics to analyze the relationship between what we eat and the ways in which we talk about it. During the first unit of the course we study classical contemporary texts that shaped the debate on the relationship between language and reality. The second unit focuses on the ways in which language models the domain of discourse of edible entities. During the third unit, finally, we employ the conceptual tools of contemporary ontology to systematize the domain of discourse of edible entities.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisite to enroll.
Teaching methods
This is a seminar and student participation is expected.

Students are asked also to do some short presentations during the course, on a topic that is agreed with the professor.

Some classes will be devoted to develop the writing skills and methods necessary to prepare a strong final essay.
Bibliography
[N.B. Students are kindly requested to consult the course site on Ariel for a complete version of the program based on the course calendar, and for additional materials]

W.V.O. Quine, "Esistenza e impegno ontologico" [antologia Varzi]
H. Putnam, "Esistenza e relatività concettuale" [antologia Varzi]
M. Black, "Identità e uguaglianza qualitativa" [antologia Varzi]
D. Wiggins, "Identità e coincidenza spazio-temporale" [antologia Varzi]
P. Strawson, "La prospetiva tridimensionalista" [antologia Varzi]
R. Chisholm, "Persistenza reale e persistenza fittizia" [antologia Varzi]
D. Lewis, "Il problema degli intrinseci temporanei" [antologia Varzi]
S. Kripke, "La semantica dei mondi possibili" [antologia Varzi]
D. Lewis, "Il realismo modale" [antologia Varzi]
D. Jurafsky, The Language of Food, Norton & Company, 2014
A. Grandi, Denominazione di origine inventata (2018)
G. Frosini, "L'italiano in tavola"
G. Frosini, "La lingua delle ricette"
M. Toussat-Samat, A History of Food, (1987), capp. 12, 13, 21, 22
D. Ludwig, "Ethnoontology: Ways of World-Building Across Cultures" (2019)
S. Shapin, "The Tastes of Wine" (2012)
Assessement methods and criteria
Written and oral: an essay, to be handed in two weeks before the exam, of about 4000 words; an oral exam on the essay as well as all course materials.
Unità didattica A
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica B
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica C
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours

B

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The world, as we normally experience it, is populated by colored objects - cherries are red, the ocean is blue, asphalt paving the road is grey. Do these objects actually have the colors we experience them as having? There are several ontological theories on the nature of color. A minority of philosophers denies that colors are real properties - there is nothing that is colored. The majority of philosophers contends that colors are real properties, but have divergent opinions on their nature - some of them argue that they are properties of material objects, which do not depend on internal states of the observers; others argue that they are relational properties, to be analyzed in terms of a relation between the observer's states, observational circumstances and the physical properties of the object In the first part of the course we shall analyze these theories. In the second part we shall analyze different theories of color experiences and their phenomenal character. In the third part of the course we shall focus on colors concepts.
Unit A (20 hours, 3 cfu): Ontological theories of color.
Unit B (20 hours 3 cfu): The experience of color.
Unit C (20 hours 3cfu): Color concepts and color words.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of the philosophy of language main topics, e.g. the relation between language and thought and the nature of meaning (such topics have been addressed at an introductory level in the BA philosophy of language courses).
English: fluent
Teaching methods
-Lecture
-Students's presentations and discussion in class
Bibliography
The reading list is identical for attending and non-attending students

Unit A and Unit B:

1. P. Bressan (2007), Il colore della Luna, Laterza, Bari, capp. 1, 2, 3, 4
2. D. Hilbert (1987), Color and Color Perception, CSLI, capp. 1-4.
3. D. M. Armstrong (1968), "The Secondary Qualities", from A Materialist Theory of Mind, , Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.
4. F. Jackson (1998), "The Primary Quality View of Color", da F. Jackson, From Metaphysics to Ethics, Oxford.
5. C. McGinn (1996), "Another Look at Color", The Journal of Philosophy, 93: 537-555.
6. P. Boghossian, and D. Velleman (1989), "Color as a Secondary Quality", Mind, 98:81-103
7. J. Cohen (2004), "Color Properties and Color Ascriptions: A Relationalist Manifesto", The Philosophical Review, Vol. 113, pp. 451-506.
8. B. Maund (2006), "The Illusory Theory of Colors. An Anti-Realism Theory", Dialectica, 60, 245-268.


Unit C:

1. S. Shoemaker (1994), "Phenomenal Character", Nous 28: 21-38
2. S. Shoemaker (1982), "The Inverted Spectrum", The Journal of Philosophy, 79: 357-381.
3. D. Lewis (1997), "Naming the Colors", Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75: 325-342,.
4. F. MacPherson (2012), "Cognitive Penetration of Colour Experience: Rethinking the Issue in Light of an Indirect Mechanism", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research , 84: 24-62.
5. K. Allen (2009), "Being Coloured and Looking Coloured", Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 39: 647-670.
Assessement methods and criteria
Attending students will write a paper at the end of the course. The subject is established by the instructor, who will assess their knowledge of the topic and their capacity to develop critical arguments .
Orale per studenti non frequentanti: Gli studenti non frequentanti sosterranno una prova orale volta ad accertare le conoscenze sugli argomenti a programma e capacità critiche.
Unità didattica A
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica B
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica C
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
Ice Courtyard, Attic.