Theories of language and the mind

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/05
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims at providing students with a general understanding of issues concerning the study of language and mind. The acquired notions are useful for both communication-related activities and activities of redacting texts.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student
- masters the basic concepts and fundamental themes characterising philosophy of language and philosophy of mind
- has a general knowledge of the contemporary debate on language and mind, on the nature of mind and on the relations between mental states and physical realities.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student can address issues concerning language and mind in a rigorous way and can critically analyze linguistic practices.
Moreover, the student can sketch the state of the art of the study of language and mind and of the relation between language and thought.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
Teaching methods:
Lectures will be online with synchronized videoconferences using Teams or Zoom.
Each lecture will be recorded and made available as specified on the Ariel website of the course.

Learning check procedures and assessment criteria:
The oral exam will be online using Teams. See the Ariel website for relevant information.
Course syllabus
Philosophers of mind ask very general questions about the mind. Examples include: What are mental states like perceptions, emotions, sensations or thoughts? Are they states of the physical brain or of a nonphysical soul? What is consciousness? How can states of mind be about (or represent) things outside the mind? The course is an introduction to the contemporary debate which these questions raise.

There are no additional didactic activities or trainings.
Prerequisites for admission
Level B1 in English
Teaching methods
- Synchronous lectures (Zoom or Microsoft Teams) with discussion of questions by either the students or the teacher
- Recorded lectures will be available on Ariel
Teaching Resources
Exam program for both attending and non-attending students:

Assignments for both 6 ECTS and 9 ECTS exams:
(a) Ravenscroft, I. (2005), Philosophy of Mind. A Beginner's Guide, Oxford, Oxford University Press - capitoli 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 e 8
(b) C. G. Hempel (1949), "The Logical Analysis of Psychology", ristampato in N. Block, Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, vol. 1, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, pp. 14-23
(c) D. M. Armstrong (1966), "The Nature of Mind", Arts: Proceedings of the Sydney University Arts Association 3, pp. 37-48 [tr. it. "La natura della mente", in A. De Palma e G. Pareti (a cura di), Mente e corpo. Dai dilemmi della filosofia alle ipotesi della neuroscienza, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri 2015, pp. 46-62]
(d) H. Putnam (1967), "Psychological Predicates", ristampato con il titolo "The Nature of Mental States", in Id., Philosophical Papers II, 1975, pp. 429-440 [tr. it. "La natura degli stati mentali", in A. De Palma e G. Pareti (a cura di), Mente e corpo. Dai dilemmi della filosofia alle ipotesi della neuroscienza, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri 2015, pp. 63-78]

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exams:
(e) Ravenscroft, I. (2005), Philosophy of Mind. A Beginner's Guide, Oxford, Oxford University Press - cap. 9, 10, 11 e 12
(f) F. Jackson (1982), "Epiphenomenal Qualia", Philosophical Quarterly 32, pp. 127-136 [tr. it. "Qualia epifenomenici", in Marco Salucci (a cura di), La teoria dell'identità, Firenze, Le Monnier 2005, pp. 153-165]

Texts (b), (c), (d) and (f) will be available at the website Ariel (https://epaganinitlm.ariel.ctu.unimi.it).
IMPORTANT: students should bring the texts at the oral exam.
Assessment 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
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)