Philosophy | Philosophy and Language
P320 | 29793 | Ebbs


There is no doubt that language plays a crucial role in our
inquiries, but little agreement about exactly what that role is.
This course will focus on how language helps us (a) to keep track of
the topics of our inquiries, (b) to see whether our evidence
confirms particular hypotheses, and (c) to learn from others by
accepting what they tell us.  For help in thinking about these
topics, we will turn to Plato, John Locke, David Hume, Gottlob
Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, Carl Hempel, Nelson
Goodman, Donald Davidson, Hilary Putnam, and Saul Kripke, among
others. Required written work includes two papers, a midterm, and a
final.  The official prerequisite is just 3 hours in philosophy, but
it would also help to have a basic knowledge of elementary formal
logic (P250 or equivalent).