Philosophy of Communication - 1st semester


To discuss and understand the main philosophical issues regarding communication.
To situate philosophical discussions in the context of contemporary debates about communication.
To offer students the conceptual tools needed for a critical analysis of communication.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Dima Mohammed, Marcin Lewinski


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Austin, J.L. (1962). How to do things with words. Oxford.
Craig, R.T., & Muller, H.L. (2007). Theorizing communication. London.
Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J. L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and semantics, Vol. 3: Speech acts (pp. 41-58). New York.
D. Fogal, Harris, D.W., & Moss, M. (2018). New work on speech acts. Oxford.
Lewiński, M., & Mohammed, D. (2016). Argumentation Theory. In K. B. Jensen & R. T. Craig (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (pp. 1-15). New York.
Ludlow, P. (2014). Living Words: Meaning Underdetermination and the Dynamic Lexicon. Oxford.
Searle, J.R. (1969). Speech acts. Cambridge.
Tomasello, M. (2008). Origins of Human Communication. Cambridge, MA.
Tomasello, M. (2019). Communication. In M. Tomasello, Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny (pp. 91-133). Cambridge.
Wittgenstein, L. (2001/1952). Philosophical Investigations. 3rd ed., (transl. by G.E.M. Anscombe). Oxford.

Teaching method

The course is based on the theoretical exposition and classroom discussions of the topics presented in each class.
Classroom teaching

Evaluation method

40% - mid-term exam
60% - final exam

Subject matter

1. Main issues in philosophy:
a. Ontology (what is)
b. Epistemology (how can we know what is)
c. Philosophy of language and communication (how do we communicate what we know)

2. Major traditions in the philosophy of communication: rhetoric and argumentation, semiotics, phenomenology, cybernetics, social psychology, socio-cultural studies, critical theory (Craig)

3. The origins of human communication: from animals to humans (Tomasello)
a. Natural gestures (pointing, pantomiming)
b. Conventions
c. Cooperation and shared intentions
d. Communication and Artificial Intelligence (Turing, Searle)

4. Language, communication and rationality
a. Syntax, semantics, pragmatics
b. Speech act theory: language games, performatives and constatives (Wittgenstein, Austin, Searle)
c. Speech acts as social and political acts (Langton, Saul)
d. Rational grounds for conversation (Grice)
e. Conversation and meaning (Ludlow)
f. Argumentation and rational communication (Habermas, van Eemeren)