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CODE 80517
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-FIL/05
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The course focuses on the topic of underdetermination of meaning and contextual dependence. After introducing the basics of true-conditional semantics with the double index developed by David Kaplan for fragments of languages containing ondexical and demonstrative expressions, we will study the four main theoretical approaches that deal with contextual dependence: contextualism, indessicalism/conventionalism, minimalism, and semantic relativism.

The teaching assumes knowledge of basic logic and philosophy of language. The course in Philosophical Semantics is strongly discouraged for students who do not fulfil these requirement.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims to introduce students to the debate on the divide between semantics and pragmatics. In particular, the topic of contextual dependence and the phenomenon of underdetermination of meaning will be explored, starting from the Gricean theory that defends the autonomy of semantics and places contextual dependence on the agenda of pragmatics, to arrive at the theories that philosophers have developed as alternatives to the Gricean approach: contextualism, indessicalism, minimalism, and relativism.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of the course students will be able to master the main concepts that animate the debate between the philosophers of language on the demarcation between semantics and pragmatics. Students will acquire the necessary skills to face the independent study of essays on the philosophy of language and the study of topics that might be of interest for the writing of the degree thesis.

PREREQUISITES

The teaching assumes knowledge of basic logic and philosophy of language. The course in Philosophical Semantics is strongly discouraged for students who do not fulfil these requirement.

TEACHING METHODS

The course covers a cycle of lectures.

 

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Program

Part 1

The semantics with double index: context of utterance and circumstance of evaluation

Part 2
Meaning, saying, and communicating
Part 3
Context Dependence, semantics and pragmatics: contextualism, indexicalism, minimalism, relativism
Part 4
Some objections against the Russellian theory of definite descriptions

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Vignolo, M., e Frixione, M., 2018. Filosofia del Linguaggio, Milano: Mondadori.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

TBA

Monday, Tuesday, Friday 11 AM-1 PM

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Oral exam

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Students will be assessed on the basis of (i) knowledge of the contents covered during the course, (ii) ability to analyze and reconstruct philosophical arguments, and (iii) appropriateness in the use of philosophical language.