First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP8083502, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
LE0610, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE (ADVANCED)
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit


Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-FIL/05 Philosophy and Theory of Language 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
4 commissioni a.a. 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 CARRARA MASSIMILIANO (Presidente)
MORATO VITTORIO (Membro Effettivo)
SOAVI MARZIA (Supplente)
3 Filosofia del linguaggio aa 2017/2018 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 CARRARA MASSIMILIANO (Presidente)
SOAVI MARZIA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: No prerequisite is requested.
Target skills and knowledge: The aim of the course in Philosophy of Language is to provide a basic knowledge of the analytical philosophy of language. The student will acquire the basic notions of formal semantics as it is formulated by the so-called dominant paradigm in semantics and the main objections to this paradigm. Transversal skills acquired are: communication skills, analysis, and synthesis abilities.
Examination methods: The examination is composed of three parts. A first part (30% of the examination) concerns a talk on a topic agreed with the instructor. A second part (30% of the examination) is on the paper (10 pages, 2500 ca for each page) written on a topic agreed with the instructor. The deadline for sending it is 7 days before the oral examination. A third part concerns an oral examination (40%). The oral examination consists of three open questions -- on the institutional part of the course. The oral examination lasts about 30 minutes, including the discussion of the paper. The presentation will be 60 minutes long with the discussion.
Assessment criteria: The following are the evaluation criteria for all three parts:

a) knowledge of the subject;
b) the clarity of exposition;
c) the ability to produce arguments concerning the topic under investigation and the argumentative defense of a thesis.
Course unit contents: Part One (institutional part).

Week I.
Introduction to the course. Two "naive" theories of meaning: the ideational theory of Locke and the theory of pure reference.

Week II.
Main features of the dominant paradigm in semantics: compositionality, truth-conditions and antimentalism.

Week III.
Fregean Semantic (I): singular terms, predicates, sentences.

Week IV.
Fregean Semantic (II): Non-denoting names, indirect contexts, quantified expressions.

Week V.
Russellian semantics: definite descriptions and proper names.

Week VI.
Attributive and referential uses of defined descriptions. Grice's objection to the dominant paradigm.

Week VII.
The theory of direct reference: proper names, definite descriptions. The semantics of natural species names.

Week VIII.
Use theories of meaning. Speech acts. Performatives. Introductory elements. Conditions of happiness of performative. Semantics and Pragmatics. The case of metaphors.

Second part. Semantic paradoxes

Weeks IX-XII

This part will be developed with an innovative teaching format (discussion, interactive lecturing, and talks). It will be dedicated to the topic of semantic paradoxes. Specific topics of this part are:

What is a semantic paradox? Liar Paradox, Revenge Liar Paradox, Sorite's paradox, Montague's Paradox, Knowability paradox.

The presentations of the students on semantic paradoxes (Interactive lecturing) will take place in this part. the topic of the presentation will be shared with the instructor.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures with a discussion.
Additional notes about suggested reading: - Textbooks:

D. Marconi, Filosofia del linguaggio. UTET
W. Lycan, Philosophy of language capp. 1, 2, 3, 5
P. Casalegno, Brevissima introduzione alla filosofia del linguaggio, Carocci Roma 2011

- Essays:
J. Austin, How to do things with words, lectures 1 and 2, pp. 7-23.
G. Frege, Meaning and Reference.
B. Russell, The problems of Philosophy. Cap. 5.
P. Grice, Logic and Conversation.
S. Kripke, Naming and Necessity.

- Notes on Moodle (solo gli appunti)

For non-attending students:

P. Casalegno. Filosofia del Linguaggio, Carocci 1998.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Marconi, Diego, La filosofia del linguaggioda Frege ai nostri giorni. Torino: UTET libreria, 1999. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lycan, William G., Philosophy of language a contemporary introduction. New York (etc.): Routledge, 2008. (Traduzione italiana) Cerca nel catalogo
  • Casalegno, Paolo, Brevissima introduzione alla filosofia del linguaggio. Roma: Carocci, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Austin, John Langshaw; Sbisà, Marina; Urmson, James Opie, How to do things with wordsthe William James lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955. London: Oxford University Press, 1976. (traduzione in italiano) Cerca nel catalogo
  • Russell, Bertrand, The problems of philosophy. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co, 1963. (traduzione in italiano) Cerca nel catalogo
  • Grice, Paul, Logica e conversazione. Saggi su intenzione, significato e comunicazionePaul Grice. Bologna: Il mulino, 1993. (see the English article) Cerca nel catalogo
  • Kripke, Saul, Naming and necessity. Cambridge: Massachussets, Harvard University Press, 1980. (traduzione in italiano) Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Interactive lecturing

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)