PHIL 345 - Language and Mind
Section: 001
Term: WN 2012
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Requirements & Distribution:
Enforced Prerequisites:
One philosophy course with at least a C-.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course covers topics in the philosophy of mind and language in the analytic tradition. Note that this is a philosophy course, not a course in cognitive science, psychology, or linguistics. As such we will examine various mental and linguistic phenomena in an extremely abstract fashion, asking questions like:

  • What exactly is the relationship between a mental state and a brain state, beyond correlation?
  • What does it mean for a thought or a mark on paper to be about something — that is to mean or to represent something?
  • What is consciousness?
  • Is the architecture of our minds similar to that of computers?
  • What are the varieties of meaning encoded in our verbal communication?

Bear in mind that there is no agreed-upon empirical methodology for answering any of these questions — that’s why they still fall under the discipline of philosophy. (Psychology and linguistic semantics spun off of philosophy in the last couple of centuries, taking with them most of the empirically tractable questions about mind and language.) So expect to think hard without reaching any clear answers. If that sounds like a waste of time to you — don’t take this course!

Course Requirements:

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Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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PHIL 345 - Language and Mind
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
1PHIL Ugrd
W 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
Tu 4:00PM - 5:00PM
004 (DIS)
1PHIL Ugrd
Tu 3:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0199252548
Philosophy of mind : a beginner's guide, Author: Ian Ravenscroft., Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press 2005
ISBN: 0143114247
The stuff of thought : language as a window into human nature, Author: Steven Pinker., Publisher: Penguin Books 1. publ. 2008
ISBN: 0199696624
Meaning : a slim guide to semantics., Author: Paul Elbourne., Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press
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