PHI 534 / LIN 534

Philosophy of Language: Central Readings in the Philosophy of Language

Delia Graff Fara

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The Semantics of Descriptions: We will learn about the current state of play in the debate regarding the semantics of definite and indefinite descriptions – determiner phrases (or noun phrases) beginning with the articles ‘the’ or ‘a’. We will lead up to this with some history, by reading Frege, Russell, Strawson, Geach, Evans, Donnellan, Kripke, and Sharvy on definite descriptions. At that point, we will embark on a close reading of Stephen Neale’s book “Descriptions,” along with Grice’s work on conversational implicature. We will then progress to more recent debates about donkey anaphora and predicative and referential descriptions.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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