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    Macalester College
  Feb 23, 2018
College Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHIL 364 - Philosophy of Language

Cross-Listed as  
What is language and what is it for? What makes a series of sounds into a meaningful sentence? What makes a sentence true? Why is language always changing? This course will introduce students to ways in which twentieth century philosophers have attempted to provide answers to such questions. Since the philosophy of language has been so crucial to contemporary philosophy, this course also serves as an introduction to philosophical thought from the beginning of twentieth century to the present. Topics will range from more technical problems (theories of meaning, reference and truth; synonymy and analyticity; universals and natural kinds; private languages) to broader issues examining the relationship between language and culture (language games; radical interpretation; social change). Readings typically include writings by Ludwig Wittgenstein, W.V. Quine, John Searle, Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, and bell hooks. Alternate years. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 231 , or permission of instructor. (4 Credits)