2022-2023 Catalog

PHIL 344 Language, Translation, and Meaning

What is a language? And what is it to know, to speak, or to understand a language? This class will investigate the project of developing a systematic and comprehensive theory of linguistic meaning: what resources such a theory requires, what kinds of claims it makes, and what consequences it has. We will proceed by examining philosophical questions about the role translation between languages plays in a theory of meaning, about the nature of linguistic reference to the world, and about whether the notions of language and meaning are ultimately coherent.


4 units