University Course Planner The University of Adelaide Australia

PHIL 3029 - Philosophy of Language

Career: Undergraduate
Units: 3
Term: Semester 1
Campus: North Terrace
Contact: At least 3 hours per week
Available for Study Abroad and Exchange: Yes
Available for Non-Award Study: Yes
Pre-Requisite: At least 6 units of Level II study, including 3 units of Philosophy or Linguistics.
Incompatible: PHIL 2043; PHIL 2015; PHIL 3015
Assessment: Short Essay (25%), Research Essay (55%), Small Group Discovery tasks (20%)

Language is one of the most distinctive and pervasive features of human life. But its theoretical foundations are still a matter of great controversy. These controversies often lie dormant in ordinary life, only coming to the fore we try to understand precisely how some piece of language works. (This happens a lot in philosophy, where the examination of arguments involves teasing out the precise meaning of the sentences involved.) The nature of meaning has been of interest to philosophers since Plato, but the development of precise theories of meaning really accelerated in the twentieth century, with contributions from philosophers, logicians, and linguists. This course reflects the interdisciplinary history of the subject, though drawing primarily on linguistics and philosophy. We will look at a number of foundational issues about the nature of meaning. We will investigate the meanings of interesting classes of English expressions, such as: proper names (‘Alice’), kind terms (‘gold’), descriptions (‘the most diligent student’), indexicals and demonstratives (‘here’, ‘there’), and modal auxiliaries (‘must’). We will look at the meaning of complex sentences, as well as whether there are any aspects what is communicated by a sentence beyond what it literally means. Finally, we turn to the question of language and thought – does the language we speak constrain the thoughts we can think and the beliefs we can have?

Course Fees

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Only some Postgraduate Coursework programs are available as Commonwealth Supported. Please check your program for specific fee information

  Commonwealth Supported Student Contribution
Tuition Fees
Units EFTSL Pre-2010 2010 Onwards Domestic International
3 0.125 Band 1 $805 Band 1 $805 select program select program

Course Outline

A Course Outline which includes Learning Outcomes, Learning Resources, Learning & Teaching for this course may be accessed here

Critical Dates

Term Last Day to Add Online Census Date Last Day to WNF Last Day to WF
Semester 1 Mon 12/03/2018 Sat 31/03/2018 Fri 04/05/2018 Fri 08/06/2018

Class Details

Enrolment Class: Lecture
Class Nbr Section Size Available Dates Days Time Location
10207 LE01 50 22 1 Mar - 29 Mar Thursday 2pm - 4pm Barr Smith South, 1063, Teaching Room
19 Apr - 31 May Thursday 2pm - 4pm Barr Smith South, 1063, Teaching Room
19005 LEC0 20 19 No details available
Related Class: Workshop
Class Nbr Section Size Available Dates Days Time Location
10208 WR01 50 21 8 Mar - 29 Mar Thursday 12pm - 1pm Barr Smith South, 2060, Teaching Room
26 Apr - 31 May Thursday 12pm - 1pm Barr Smith South, 2060, Teaching Room