This course will discuss four key moments twentieth century philosophy of language and logic. It will cover the Part 1b syllabus materials on Theories of Meaning for the paper in Logic. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions, questions, or comments about this course.
An good and comprehensive textbook is: Alexander Miller (2007), Philosophy of Language (2nd ed.), London: Routledge.
Outlines and handouts will be made available on: http://msteenhagen.github.io/teaching/2016tom/
Where and when
Wednesday 3-4. Lecture Block Room 5
Lecture 1: Meaning and Verification
This lecture will consider the relation between the meaning of a sentence and its conditions of verification by discussing early twentieth-century empiricism about meaning. (handout)
A.J. Ayer (1946), Language, Truth and Logic (2nd ed.), London: Gollancz, Introduction & ch. 1.
Lecture 2: The Dogmas of Empiricism
This lecture will discuss criticisms of meaning empiricism. In particular, we will look at the arguments put forward by Quine. (handout)
W.V.O. Quine (1951), ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism,’ Philosophical Review (60), 20-43. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2181906.
Lecture 3: Compositional Semantics
This lecture will consider the relation between the meaning of a sentence and the meaning of its parts by unpacking Davidson’s arguments about the learnability of language. (handout)
Donald Davidson (1984) Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ch. 1 (‘Theories of meaning and learnable languages’). Available online at: http://doi.org/10.1093/0199246297.003.0001.
Lecture 4: Pragmatics
This lecture will look at radical contextualism about meaning by considering the relation between the meaning of a sentence and the context of its utterance. (handout)
Charles Travis (1997), ‘Pragmatics,’ in A Companion to the Philosophy of Language, B. Hale and C. Wright (eds.), Oxford: Blackwell, 87-107.