Theories of language and the mind

A.Y. 2021/2022
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

[A]

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
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
No specific requirements, other than those required for access to the Degree Program
Teaching methods
Lectures with discussion of questions by either the students or the teacher.
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

[B]

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods:
If on-site classes will not be possible, the lectures will be online with synchronized videoconferences using Teams or Zoom.
Course syllabus
The first two modules of the course will address the basic questions in philosophy of mind: what are mental states? What is consciousness? How can mental states represent things outside the mind, as well as things that do not exist, or do not yet exist? The third module will be dedicated more specifically to our experience of time: the memory of an immutable past, the perception of an ever-changing present, and the anticipation of an uncertain future.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites
Teaching methods
Synchronous lectures. At the end of each module, a class will be dedicated to a general discussion on the topics of the module.
Teaching Resources
Exam program for both attending and non-attending students:

Assignments for both 6 ECTS and 9 ECTS exams:

Texts in common for the 6 CFU and 9 CFU programs:
(a) Ravenscroft, I. (2005), Philosophy of Mind. A Beginner's Guide, Oxford, Oxford University Press [Chapters 1 - 8]
(b) Iaquinto S. and Torrengo G. (2018) Filosofia del Futuro. Un'introduzione, Raffaello Cortina [Prologue, Chapters 1-3 and Appendix 2]
(c) 2 articles chosen from a list that will be made available on Ariel before the course starts, along with other supporting material.

Additional texts for the 9 CFU program:
(d) The entire Ravenscroft, I. (2005), Philosophy of Mind. A Beginner's Guide, Oxford, Oxford University Press
(e) The entire Iaquinto S. and Torrengo G. (2018) Filosofia del Futuro. Un'introduzione, Raffaello Cortina
(f) a further article chosen from the list that will be published in Ariel
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