Philosophy of Language


a) To identify the various aspects involved in phenomenological description of
b) Succinct knowledge of the relations and intersections between the study of
contemporary Linguistics and Philosophy of Language.
c) Knowledge of the main philosophical problems raised by language.
d) Identification of the most relevant connections of Philosophy of Language with
Ontology, Anthropology and Philosophy of Knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Fabrizio Macagno


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Not applicable


CARNAP, R. (1931). Überwindung der Metaphysik durch logische Analyse der Sprache. Erkenntnis 2: 219-241; (1959). The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language. In A. J. Ayer (Ed.), Logical Positivism (pp. 60-81). New York, NY: Free Press.
DAVIDSON, D. (1984). What Metaphors Mean. In Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (pp. 245-264). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
FREGE, G. (1967). Über Sinn und Bedeutung. In Kleine Schriften (pp. 143-162). Hildesheim: Georg Olms; (1980). On Sense and Meaning. In Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege (pp. 56-78). Oxford: Blackwell.
RUSSELL, B. (1905). On Denoting. Mind 14(56): 479-493.
WITTGENSTEIN, L. (1984). Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung / Philosophische Untersuchungen. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp; (1987). Tratado Lógico Filosófico / Investigações Filosóficas. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Teaching method

The method adopted for the class combines exposition of the readings and commentaries on them along with discussion of student papers. In class teaching.


Evaluation method

each student is required to write a review of a contemporary article or book chapter, to be chosen from a list of papers selected by the teacher, that will be presented and discussed in class(40%), final exam(60%)

Subject matter

Language and World

This course aims to be an introduction to the philosophy of language, focusing on how it developed from the end of the 19th-century up to the present day. We shall begin with the linguistic analysis proposed by Frege and Russell as a way to eliminate philosophical nonsense. Then we shall examine Wittgenstein, who takes up this ideal, putting forward two distinct conceptions of language in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and in the Philosophical Investigations. We shall also analyze the relationship between the Tractarian thought and the positivism of the Vienna Circle, especially the “elimination of metaphysics through logical analysis of language” promoted by Carnap. The final part of the course will be devoted to the view of metaphor vindicated by Davidson.



Programs where the course is taught: