PHIL 344 Philosophy of Language

Fall Semester 2012 | Day | Burnaby


INSTRUCTOR: Endre Begby, WMX 5653


This course will explore a series of important questions arising within the philosophy of language. How does linguistic communication work? What is the relation between language and self-conscious thought? Is language acquired or innate? Which, if any, aspects of language are universal? In what sense is language a social object, and in which sense a product of individual minds? Are there really such things as languages, as opposed to merely patterns of similarity in people’s verbal behaviour? While our guiding interests will be firmly philosophical and most of our readings will be culled from classic and contemporary philosophy, we will also be reading recent work in linguistics, psychology, and cognitive science.


  • None. All readings will be made available by the instructor.


  • Participation – 15%
  • Four précis of readings – 40%
  • Two papers – 45%

Prerequisites: PHIL 100; and one of PHIL 201 or 203, or COGS 200