PHIL/LING 145.001 – Language, Communication, and Human and Animal Minds

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Instructor: Simon Varey. This course meets TR 8:00 – 9:15 a.m. in DE 307.

This class is an introduction to the philosophy of language and some of its major issues. We will begin by studying some basic notions essential to the philosophical study of meaning and communication. We will then examine questions such as: What is the origin of linguistic meaning? Is language unique to human beings or can other animals use language? How could we have evolved to use language? What is the relationship between language and thought? What effects can language have on society?
This is an introductory course and does not assume any background in philosophy, linguistics or cognitive science.