We shall study several central topics in contemporary philosophy of language. Each of these topics is central not only in focusing much discussion but also in influencing the discussion of other philosophical issues. Due to the variety of topics, none will be exhaustively discussed in the course, but the hope is that the main approaches to the problems, their motivation and presuppositions would be clearly delineated. The main works discussed will be by Quine, Grice, Strawson, Russell, Austin, Kripke, Putnam, Donnellan, Stalnaker, Wittgenstein.
Students will acquire good knowledge of some of the more influential contributions to the philosophy of language in recent decades, as well as acquaintance with some of the major difficulties with these contributions.
Written exam as part of the Final Examination at the end of the first year. Visiting students who cannot write the exam will write term paper of approximately 2500 words (students should consult Ben-Yami about the paper’s subject).