Philosophy 453
Philosophy of Language

University of Washington


Autumn, 2008

For a copy of this syllabus in PDF format, click here.



1. Preliminaries

2. Meaning

3. Sense and Denotation

4. Definite Descriptions

5. Names

6. Demonstratives and Indexicals

7. Propositional Attitudes

8. Speech Acts


Your grade for this course will be determined by an in-class mid-term exam and a final project, which will be either a take-home exam or a 2500-3500 word (10-12 page) term paper. If you choose the term paper option, the choice of topic is yours, provided that it is related to the issues and philosophers treated in this course. (Check with me if you are in any doubt about whether your topic is appropriate.) Due date for the final project is Monday, December 8.

Graduate students in philosophy and undergraduates taking the course for (optional) W (writing) credit are required to write a term paper; all others may choose either the paper or take-home exam option.

If you are taking the course for W-credit, you must submit a preliminary draft, proposal, abstract, or outline of the paper by November 13. Your final draft should respond to the comments I give you on the preliminary draft.


Mid term exam study questions posted October 21
Mid term exam October 28
Preliminary draft of paper (for
those chosing the W option)
November 13
Final exam questions posted December 1
Term paper due December 8
Final exam due December 8

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