Academic year
2012/2013
Department
Department of Philosophy
University
Universitat de Barcelona
Itinerary
Master courses
Module
Module 4. Language and Mind
Code
561475
Credits
5
Language
English
Dates
2012-10-09 - 2013-01-10
Schedule
Tue. 11-12:30 & Thu. 10:30-12
Location
Tue: Room 402 // Thu. Room 410 // 18 of october: Room 411 // 8 and 15 of January: Room 410; 10 of January: Room 412, Fac. Filosofia, UB.

Description

 

 The aim of this course is to reflect on and discuss the nature of reference, the relation that makes language be about pieces of the world. We will pay special attention to the discussion of the evidence that constitutes the input of the theory of reference for natural languages.

 

The course is organized in five blocks:

(a) Approaches to reference.

(b) The debate between descriptivism and anti-descriptivism in the theory of reference.

(c) Reference and kind terms

(d) Empirical data and the theory of reference, I: reference and cultural differences.

(e) Empirical data and the theory of reference, II: mental experiments and data about use.

 

A detailed syllabus will be distributed the first day of classes.

 


Methodology

Lectures with time devoted to discussion.

 


Evaluation

Three exercises (short essays on topics suggested by the instructor) will be due during the course (time for completion: 1 week). The two best grades will amount, jointly, to 40% of the final grade. A final paper, on a topic approved with the instructor, will amount to 60% of the final grade. Information about deadlines will be distributed the first day of classes.

 


Bibliography

Chiu, L-H. 1972. ‘A cross-cultural comparison of cognitive styles in Chinese and American children.’ International Journal of Psychology, 7: 235-242.

 

Devitt, Michael. 1981. Designation. New York. Columbia University Press.

 

Devitt, Michael. 2010. ‘Experimental Semantics.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

 

Devitt, Michael (manuscript, used with permission). ‘Usage vs Intuitions.’

 

Donnellan, Keith. 1970. ‘Proper Names and Identifying Descriptions’. Synthese, 21: 335-358.

 

García-Ramírez, Eduardo & Shatz, Marilyn. 2011. ‘On Problems with Descriptivism: Psychological Assumptions and Empirical Evidence.’

Mind & Language, 26: 53-77

 

Ichikawa, Jonathan; Maitra, Ishani and Weatherson, Brian. 2010. ‘In Defense of a Kripkean Dogma.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

 

Jackson, Frank. 1998. ‘’Reference and Description Revisited.’ Excerpt in D. Byrne & M. Kölbel (eds.). 2010. Arguing About Language. Routledge.

 

Kripke, Saul. 1970/1980. Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press. (selections)

 

Kroon, Fred. 1987. ‘Causal Descriptivism’.Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 65: 1-18.

 

Lam, Barry. 2010. ‘Are Cantonese speakers really descriptivists? Revisiting cross-cultural semantics.’ Cognition, 115: 320-329.

 

Machery, Edouard; Mallon, Ron; Nichols, Shaun and Stich, Stephen. 2004. ‘Semantics, cross-cultural style.’ Cognition, 92: B1-B12.

 

Machery, Edouard; Olivola, Christopher Y. and De Blanc, Molly. 2009. ‘Linguistic and metalinguisitic intuitions in the philosophy of language.’ Analysis, 69: 689-694.

 

Marti, Genoveva. 2009. ‘Against semantic multi-culturalism.’ Analysis, 69: 42- 48.

 

Marti, Genoveva (in press): ‘Empirical Data and the Theory of Reference.’

 

Nisbett, R. E.; Peng, K.; Choi, I. and Norenzayan A. 2001. ‘Culture and systems of thought: holistic vs. analytic cognition.’ Psychological Review 108: 291-310.

 

Putnam, Hilary. ‘Meaning and Reference.’ S. Schwartz (ed.): Naming, Necessity and Natural Kinds.

 

Soames, Scott. 2005. Reference and Description. Princeton U.P. (Selections)

 

Searle, John. 1958. 'Proper Names', Mind 67: 166-173.

 

Strawson, P.F. 1950. ‘On Referring.’ Mind, 59: 320-344.