Philosophy of language

A.Y. 2020/2021
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
The course will take place online via Teams. Slides, readings and other support materials will be made available on Ariel for each lecture during the semester.

Exams will take place via Teams.

The student can freely choose whether to take this course (Philosophy of language A) or the course taught in the II semester by prof. Clotilde Calabi (Philosophy of language B). There is no partition based on the first letter of the surname.
Course syllabus
The course will explore the following issues:
(a) Is language an instinct?
(b) Does language determine/reflect the way we see the world?
(c) Does language play a role in constructing social categories?
Prerequisites for admission
The student must be able to read texts in English.
Teaching methods
Online lectures via Teams
Teaching Resources
The texts for the exam are the same both for students that attend class and for students that don't.

For the 9 CFU exam, the texts are the following:
Chomsky N., Linguaggio e problemi della conoscenza, Il Mulino, 2016
Moro A., I confini di Babele. Il cervello e il mistero delle lingue impossibili, Il Mulino, 2015
Guy Deutscher, La lingua colora il mondo. Come le parole deformano la realtà, Bollati Boringhieri 2016
Federica Formato, Gender, Discourse and Ideology in Italian, Palgrave Mac Millan, 2019
+ slides, articles and other support materials that will be made available on Ariel for each lecture during the semester.

For the 6 CFU exam, the texts are the following:
Chomsky N., Linguaggio e problemi della conoscenza, Il Mulino, 2016
Moro A., I confini di Babele. Il cervello e il mistero delle lingue impossibili, Il Mulino, 2015
Guy Deutscher, La lingua colora il mondo. Come le parole deformano la realtà, Bollati Boringhieri 2016
+ slides, articles and other support materials that will be made available on Ariel for the lectures during the semester (except the lectures on language and gender).
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam. The exam will ascertain whether the student is able to sketch the arguments presented in the course.
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)

Lesson period
Second semester
In the situation of Coronavirus emergency , the course will be taught online. Most lectures will be synchronous, and remote users will be able to participate in using Microsoft teams. A limited amount of lectures (about 12 hours - one lecture per week) will consist of audio files, texts, slides. Non-synchronous lectures will consist of a rehearsel of the main topics of the synchronous lectures of the week. All lectures, readings which are not under copyright protection, and slides will be available on the ariel web page of the course.
The exam program will not change, and oral exams will take place online. Attending students are those students who attend the online lectures and/or those students who have access to the recorded lectures.
Course syllabus
The corse is an introduction to the philosophy of language. The student will acquire familiarity with the main concepts (e.g. the concepts of meaning and reference), and semantic theories. With the knowledge acquired, we shall address a traditional philosophical problem - the mind-body problem - and we shall focus on Saul Kripke's solution. Finally we shall address the study of pragmatics, particularly of Grice and post-Gricean theories.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites
Teaching methods
Lectures and discussion with students. In presence lectures and synchronous lectures generally include a short QA session.
Teaching Resources
Attending students
Readings for 6 CFU
G. Kemp, What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?, Routledge, London 2018 (second edition).
or (for students who have no elementary knowledge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano.

Readings for 9 CFU:
1. G. Kemp, What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?, Routledge, London 2018 (second edition).
or (for students who have no elementary knowldge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano.

2. C. Bianchi, Pragmatica cognitiva. I meccanismi della comunicazione, capp. 1 e 2, Laterza 2009.

Non-attending students
Readings for 6 CFU
1. G. Kemp, What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?, Routledge, London 2018 (second edition).
or (for students who have no elementary knowledge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano.

2. M. Santambrogio, "Riferimento, credenze, regole", in A. Borghini (a cura di), Il genio compreso. La filosofia di Saul Kripke, Carocci 2010, pp. 77-126.

Readings for 9 CFU:
1. G. Kemp, What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?, Routledge, London 2018 (second edition).
or (for students who have no elementary knowledge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano.

2. C. Bianchi, Pragmatica cognitiva. I meccanismi della comunicazione, capp. 1 e 2, Laterza 2009.
3. P. Grice, Logica e conversazione, pp. 55-95, 131-164, 217-231, tr. it. Il Mulino, Bologna, 1993 (available on the ariel page of the course)
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is an oral discussion on the topics and the readings listed in the program. Evaluation is based to 70 % on knowledge of the theories and concepts and presentation capacities; evaluation is based to 30 % on the students's capacities to critically assess the theories
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