Philosophy of language

A.Y. 2021/2022
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
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
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 focus on pragmatics, particularly on Grice and some post-Gricean theories.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites
Teaching methods
Lectures and discussion with students. 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) with the exclusion of chapters 9, 10, 11 and 12.
or (for students who have no elementary knowledge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano. with the exclusion of chapters 8, 9, 10 and 14.

Readings for 9 CFU:
1. G. Kemp, What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?, Routledge, London 2018 (second edition), with the exclusion of chapters 8, 9, 10 11 and 12.
or (for students who have no elementary knowledge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano, with the exclusion of chapters 8, 9, 10 and 14.

2. C. Bianchi, Pragmatica cognitiva. I meccanismi della comunicazione, chapts. 1 and 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), with the exclusion of chapters 8, 9, 10 11 and 12.
or (for students who have no elementary knowledge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano, with the exclusion of chapters 8, 9, 10 and 14.

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), with the exclusion of chapters 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
or (for students who have no elementary knowledge of English):
W. Lycan, Filosofia del linguaggio. Un'introduzione contemporanea, Cortina, Milano, with the exclusion of chapters 8, 9, 10 and 14.

2. C. Bianchi, Pragmatica cognitiva. I meccanismi della comunicazione, chapts. 1 and 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

[B]

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
During the ongoing covid emergency, the course syllabus will be maintained with the following changes made to enhance the effectiveness of the online version of the course, which was originally designed for face-to-face teaching.
Online environments used:
Ariel:
MSTeams: code available on Ariel

All course readings which are not protected by copyright and lecture materials will be available in Ariel.
The exam program will not change.

Teaching methods:
Classes will be held according to the following risk scenarios:
- maximum severity (red zone): classes will be held only remotely in synchronous mode (using MSTeams)
- high severity (orange zone): lessons will be held in mixed mode, partly in person and partly online. the face-to-face lessons will allow the participation of students connected with MSTeams as well as students in the classroom. Online lessons will be held synchronously (using MSTeams)
- severity (yellow zone): classes will be held according with the orange zone guidelines and, if conditions allow, the number of lessons on campus will be increased.
The calendar of in person lessons and updates will be published on the online course platform.

Learning assessment procedures and evaluation criteria:
The exam is oral and is held on MSTeams in any emergency situation, whether yellow, orange or red zone, in compliance with the guidelines provided by the University. The online course on Ariel will make available constantly updated details about the oral examination sessions that will be held over several days.
Students wishing to participate in face-to-face lessons must refer to the following University provisions: https://www.unimi.it/it/studiare/frequentare-un-corso-di-laurea/seguire…
Students wishing to participate in MSTeams lessons must refer to the following technical guides: https://www.unimi.it/it/studiare/servizi-gli-studenti/servizi-tecnologi…
To participate in the exam sessions, students must refer to the following provisions: https://www.unimi.it/it/studiare/frequentare-un-corso-di-laurea/seguire…

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 course will investigate 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 the construction of social categories?
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisite other than those required to access the program.
Teaching methods
Lectures and discussion with students. Each class includes a Q&A session on the assignment for the class.
Teaching Resources
The program is the same both for students who attend the class and for students who don't.

For the 9 CFU exam you should study 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
Claudia Bianchi, Hate speech: il lato oscuro del linguaggio, Laterza, 2021
+ slides, readings e other support material available on Ariel for each class.

For the 6 CFU exam you should study 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, readings e other support material available on Ariel for each class (except for the classes on language and gender).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is an oral discussion aimed at assessing the student's knowledge of the texts and the material for 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
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
Tuesday 10.00 - 13.00. Covid emergency: office hours are held online via Skype or by telephone. Please send me an e-mail to make an appointment.
Festa del Perdono, 7 - Cortile Ghiacciaia, II piano. For the Covid emergency, office hours are held online via Skype on by telephone. il ricevimento ha luogo per telefono o via Skype nella fascia oraria indicata.