LANGUAGE THEORIES

LANGUAGE THEORIES

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Code
98499
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
6 credits during the 1st year of 8455 Philosophy (L-5) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
M-FIL/05
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Philosophy)
semester
1° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The course aims at illustrating the main classical and contemporary theories on verbal language.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The aim of the course is to offer the students a comprehensive picture of the structure and the functioning of human verbal language, with particular attention to the contemporary debate in the analytic philosophy of language and in cognitive science.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course is divided into five thematic blocks that identify the main objectives of the course: (i) Language(s): defining the notion of sign and of communication, learning the basis of propositional logics and of second order logics, distinguishing the different types of arguments, characterizing the main areas of linguistic investigation (syntax, semantics and pragmatics). (ii) Language and representation: understanding the main theories of reference for proper names, illustrating the notion of meaning as truth-conditions and the bases of classic semantics. Language and action: being able how to define the notion of meaning as use, understanding the theory speech acts, the theory of implicatures and the theories of politeness. Language and communication: understanding the notion of semantic holism, the concept of radical translation and the relationship between truth and interpretation; knowing how to illustrate the main theories on the relationship between language and culture. Language and mind: characterizing the main positions on the origins of verbal language and about innatism, understanding the modular theory of the mind, being able to illustrate the notion of strong artificial intelligence and its criticisms.

PREREQUISITES

The course has an introductory nature and does not presuppose any prior philosophical, logical or linguistic knowledge.

Teaching methods

Teaching will be provided through frontal lectures given by the teacher.

 

Students are required to register at Aulaweb, where materials useful for the course will be uploaded.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The main arguments for and against the contemporary philosophical-linguistic theories on verbal language will be analysed woth respect to the relationship between language and representation, action, communication and mind. Through this critical analysis, we will illustrate how the understanding of the structure and functioning of verbal language is a fundamental requirement to formulate and address philosophical questions.

 

The final part of the course will deal with the topic of offensive language. Which expressions of language do have a derogatory function and why? What is an insult? What are the conditions of use of insulting expressions? What is the semantics of slurs and of the derogatory expressions?

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

The relevant bibliography will be provided on the Aulaweb page of the course.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Prof. Filippo Domaneschi Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Via Balbi 30 - 7° floor, 16126 Genoa (Italy). For any question concerning lectures: filippo.domaneschi@unige.it

Exam Board

FILIPPO DOMANESCHI (President)

MASSIMILIANO VIGNOLO

MARCELLO FRIXIONE (Substitute)

MARIA SILVIA VACCAREZZA (Substitute)

LESSONS

Teaching methods

Teaching will be provided through frontal lectures given by the teacher.

 

Students are required to register at Aulaweb, where materials useful for the course will be uploaded.

LESSONS START

October 26th, 2020

EXAMS

Exam description

Students attending and non-attending classes 1) written exam

 

Assessment methods

Attending students: the written exam consists of 5 open questions. Each question focuses on one of the five different thematic blocks of the course. Each answer is assigned a maximum of 6 points. The evaluation of each answer takes into account different criteria: correctness of the answer, completeness, relevance and clarity of exposition.

The correct use of the relevant philosophical and scientific lexicon and the critical skills will be taken into consideration for the purpose of the evaluation.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
13/05/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto
10/06/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto
01/07/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto
22/07/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto
16/09/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto