This course will focus on a range of philosophical questions concerning how we manage to use language to communicate with one another. We will start with foundations for the contemporary debate, and move on to current problems and perspectives. Questions discussed will include the following. In what sense, if any, does linguistic communication involve the transmission of thoughts from speaker to hearer? Is there a non-arbitrary distinction between what we (literally) say, and what we communicate but do not say? How much must be in common between the speaker’s perspective and the hearer’s perspective if communication is to succeed? To what extent is linguistic communication a rational achievement? Does someone who lies all the time count as a competent language-user? Is there an interesting distinction between lying and misleading?
- Lecturer: Imogen Dickie