Course Description

This class is on the philosophy of language. But what is that? We begin by noticing that there are many characteristics and unique aspects of language. A statement can be about a person—it can represent her. It can be true or false. It means something; someone means something by it; it means something to someone. These are just examples. The philosophy of language is that area of philosophy devoted to answering interesting questions about these language-related features. For instance, what is it to represent? How is representation possible? What is truth? What is meaning? What is the relation between mind and meaning? How does a complex expression derive its meaning from the meanings of its parts? And so on.