This course is an introduction to the philosophy of language. Philosophy of language concerns quite a large number of topics, including meaning, truth, content, reference, the syntax and semantics of various linguistic constructions, the nature and role of presupposition in communicative interchange, speech acts, figurative uses of language, questions about the ontology of languages, the epistemology of language understanding and language learning, the mental/psychologial basis of linguistic understanding and use, and so on. Since we can't possibly study all of these topics, we'll focus our energy on topics that are most central in recent philosophical work on language, and that have far-reaching consequences for other topics in philosophy of language and other areas of philosophy.
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