Academic year
Josep Macià
Department of Philosophy
Universitat de Barcelona
Master courses
Module 7. Issues in Contemporary Theoretical and Practical Philosophy
2013-10-01 - 2013-12-17
Wed. 11:00-14:00
Room 402, Fac. Filosofia, UB


The course will be an advanced introduction to some central topics in semantics and pragmatics: reference and speakers intentions, anaphora, definite and indefinite descriptions, what is said vs. what is communicated, presuppositions, conversational implicatures, expressive content, compositionality.


There will be a reading  assigned for each session. For each  reading the teacher will provide a list of “reading questions” that should help the student understand the reading and focus on its most relevant parts. In class we will discuss these reading questions and typically the teacher will also present some additional material.


Several very short papers or problem sets


• Heim, I., (1982): The semantics of definite and indefinite NPs, doctoral thesis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (Chapter 1).

• Kripke, S. (1980): Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.

• Neale, S. (1990): Descriptions. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

• Evans, G. (1980): "Pronouns", Linguistic Inquiry 11. 337-362. Reprinted in: Evans, G. (1985): Collected Papers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

• Frege, Gottlob. (1892), “Über Sinn und Bedeutung”, a Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Philosophische Kritik 100: 25-50.  “On Sense and Reference” in Beany, Michael: The Frege Reader. Blackwell.

• Geurts, B. (2009). “Scalar implicatures and local pragmatics”. Mind & Language, 24-1, 51–79

• Grice, H. P. (1957) “Meaning” (in Grice, P. (1989)) 

• Grice, P. (1989) Sttudies in the Way of Words, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA

• Grice, P.,  "Logic and conversation" (in Grice, P. (1989))

• Grice, P.,  "Further notes on Logic and Coversation" (in Grice, P. (1989))

• Heim, I, (1983): File Change Semantics and the Familiarity Theory of Definiteness. In A. von Stechow, R. Bauerle, and C. Schwarze (eds.), Meaning, use and Interpretation. Berlin: W. de Gruyter.

• Hom, Christopher, (2010), “Pejoratives”, (Philosophy Compass)

• Kennedy, Christopher and Louise McNally. (2010) “Color, context, and compositionality”. Synthese, 174.1:79-98.

• Potts, Christopher (2007), “The expressive dimension”. Theoretical Linguistics, 33(2): 165-197.

• Rothschild, Daniel and Gabriel Segal  (2009) “Indexical Predicates,” Mind and Language, 24(4), pp. 467-493

• Sainsbury, R. M. (2001). ‘Two ways to smoke a cigarette’. Ratio, 14:386–406.

• Soames, S.: 1989, Presupposition. In Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Vol. 4, Gabbay and Guenthner (eds.).

• Stalnaker, R., 1974, ‘Pragmatic Presupposition’, in Stalnaker [1999], 47-62.

• Szabó, Zoltan (2001). “Adjectives in context”. In I. Kenesei and R. M. Harnish (eds.), Perspectives on Semantics, Pragmatics and Discourse: A Festschrift for Ferenc Kiefer. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 119–146.

• Travis, C. (1994). ‘On constraints of generality’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 94:165–188.

• Travis, C. (1997). ‘Pragmatics’. In B. Hale and C. Wright (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of  Language. Oxford: Blackwell, 87–106.