Philosophy of language

A.Y. 2019/2020
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/05
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The aim of teaching is to provide students with knowledge about the topics and problems which characterize the contemporary debate in the philosophy of language and its recent theoretical development. The knowledge and the competences acquired are useful for activities centred on logical reasoning, activities of communication, and editorial activities.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding
- Knowledge of some contemporary debates in the philosophy of language.
- Basic knowledge of some notions of semantics, pragmatics, metaphysics, and logics with regard to the philosophy of language.
Ability to Apply Knowledge and Understanding
- Capacity of identify in a rigorous and critical way some problems which spark philosophical debate on language and mind.
- Capacity to analyze some arguments in the philosophy of language and to present the objections which have been raised in their context, also with regard to arguments in the philosophy of mind.
- Capacity of reconstructing a philosophical debate about language, delineating affinities and differences among various theoretical positions, some of them relevant in the context of the philosophy of mind.
Course syllabus and organization

A

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
In the first two units the student acquires familiarity with notions of the philosophy of language, in particular with the notions of meaning and reference, the theory of linguistic acts and the principles ruling linguistic communication. In the third unit, the instructor presents a general overview of different solutions of the mind-body problem and shows how the notions acquired in the first two iunits of the course may help to adress this traditional philosophical problem, with a special focus on Kripke's account.
Prerequisites for admission
English B1 level
Teaching methods
- Lectures
- Discussion in class of problems raised by the instructor and by students
Bibliography
Attending students
Assignments for both 6 ECTS and 9 ECTS exams:
G. Kemp, What is this thing called language?, Routledge, London 2013, chapts. 1-6.
(second edition 2018: chapts. 1-3, 5-7)
G. Frege, (1892). "Senso e significato", in P. Casalegno e altri (a cura di), Filosofia del linguaggio, Milano, Cortina, 2003, pp. 15-41.
M. Santambrogio, "Riferimento, credenze, regole", in A. Borghini (ed.), Il genio compreso. La filosofia di Saul Kripke, Carocci 2010, pp. 77-126
S. Kripke, Nome e Necessità, Bollati Boringhieri.

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exams:
J. Kim, Philosophy of Mind, Routledge London 2011, chapts. 2, 3 4
or
Jerry Fodor, "The Mind-Body Problem", Scientific American 1981, 244: 114-25


Non attending students
Assignments for both 6 ECTS and 9 ECTS exams:
G. Kemp, What is this thing called language?, Routledge, London 2013, chapts. 1-7
Second edition 2018: chapts 1-3, 5-8.
S. Kripke, Nome e Necessità, Bollati Boringhieri.
Assessement methods and criteria
Oral exam in which the examiner assesses the understanding of the problems and concepts introduced in the course and ascertains whether the student has acquired a critical attitude in presenting pros and cons of each theory.
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours

B

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
When we are engaged in a novel or in a movie, the characters becomes the objects of our attitudes: admiration, contempt, liking, unliking, imagination, etc. What are fictional characters? Are they abstract objects? Are they concrete and non-existing objects? Do we just pretend that they exist but they don't? These are among the questions which will be considered, reading some of the texts which have characterized the contemporary debate in philosophy of language.

There are no additional didactic activities, nor trainings.
Prerequisites for admission
B1 level in English
Teaching methods
- Lectures
- Discussion of questions by either the students or the teacher
Bibliography
Exam program for attending and non-attending students:

Assignments for both 6 ECTS and 9 ECTS exams:
(a) A. Kenny, Frege, Torino, Einaudi, 2003 - from p. 1 to p. 36, from p. 40 to p. 42 and from p.106 (from "Ma all'inizio degli anni novanta ") to p. 148
(b) E. Paganini, Dispense "Russell e le descrizioni"
(c) G. Frege, "Senso e significato", in P. Casalegno and others (eds.), Filosofia del linguaggio, Milano, Cortina, 2003, pp. 15-41
(d) B. Russell, "Le descrizioni", in P. Casalegno and others (eds.), Filosofia del linguaggio, Milano, Cortina, 2003, pp. 43-56
(e) E. Paganini, Personaggi e oggetti fittizi, Roma, Carocci, chap. 1
(f) E. Paganini, Personaggi e oggetti fittizi, Roma, Carocci, chap. 2, chap. 3 e chap. 4
(g) T. Parsons (1975), "A Meinongian Analysis of Fictional Objects", in Grazer Philosophische Studien vol. 1, pp. 73-86
(h) D. Lewis (1978), "Truth in Fiction", reprinted in D. Lewis, Philosophical Papers vol. 1 (1983), New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 261-275 (Italian translation by Sandro Zucchi: "La verità nella finzione", in Sandro Zucchi (ed.), Finzione e verità. Letture, Milano, The Robin Hood Online Press, pp. 171-190, link:
http://www.filosofia.unimi.it/zucchi/NuoviFile/Verita%20di%20finzione.p…)
(i) S. Kripke (2011), "Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities", in S. Kripke, Philosophical Troubles, Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, pp. 52-74

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exams:
(j) E. Paganini, Personaggi e oggetti fittizi, Roma, Carocci, chap. 5
(k) K. Walton (1990), Mimesis as Make-Believe, Cambridge (Mass.) and London, Harvard University Press, pp. 11-12 (§1.0), pp. 36-42 (§1.5), pp. 385-411 (§10.1-10.4) (Italian translation of §1.0 by Sandro Zucchi: "Rappresentazione e far finta", in Sandro Zucchi (ed.), Finzione e verità. Letture, Milano, The Robin Hood Online Press, pp. 23-25, link:
http://www.filosofia.unimi.it/zucchi/NuoviFile/Teorie%20della%20finzion…)
(l) S. Brock (2002), "Fictionalism about Fictional Characters", in Noûs vol. 36 (1), pp. 1-21
(m) A. Thomasson (2015), "Fictional Discourse and Fictionalisms" in S. Brock e A. Everett (eds.), Fictional Objects, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Texts (b), (g), (h), (i), (k), (l), (m) will be available at the website Ariel.
IMPORTANT: students should bring the texts at the oral exam.
Assessement methods and criteria
Oral exam: the oral exam deals with the theoretic content of the program and is aimed at ascertaining whether the student has acquired a critical attitude in presenting pros and cons of each theory.
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours