Linguistics, Philosophy of language

Course date

19 July - 30 July, 2010
Application deadline
15 February, 2010
Course Director(s): 

Jason Stanley

Philosophy department, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, United States of America

Zsofia Zvolenszky

Institute of Philosophy, Eötvös Lorand University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

David Beaver

Linguistics Department, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Ray Buchanan

Philosophy Department, University of Texas, Austin, US

Elisabeth Camp

Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Herman Cappelen

Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews, UK

Wayne A. Davis

Philosophy Department, Georgetown University, Washington DC, US

Katalin Farkas

Philosophy Department, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Ernest Lepore

Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick US

Stephen Neale

CUNY Graduate Center, New York, US

Craige Roberts

Linguistics Department, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

Adam Sennet

Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, US

Matthew Stone

Department of Computer Science, Rutgers Univerity, New Jersey, USA

Zoltán Gendler Szabó

Department of Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven, USA
Course Coordinator: 

Gergő Somodi

Philosophy Department, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

What we express, communicate by uttering a sentence varies with the context of utterance. What is the role of semantics in bringing this about? According to one simple model, a semantic theory assigns to sentences relative to contexts what would be expressed by those sentences in normal assertive utterances, by assigning values to the meaningful parts of the sentences in those contexts and combining them via a recursive process. According to another, radically different model, the meanings of words are rules that constrain the use of expressions, but there is no notion of what is said by a sentence (as opposed to the person) that matches the speaker's communicative intentions, and that plays a fundamental role in the account of communication. There are many versions of each of these views of linguistic communication. How we think about language is determined by which we adopt. The purpose of this course is to bring together leading researchers who have formed the debate, together with some younger researchers with new approaches.

This summer school invites applications from junior faculty and doctoral students at philosophy and linguistics departments. Minimum background required: philosophy of language at the advanced undergraduate level. Participants should ideally bring some work in progress related to the course theme for discussion during the course.