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    An introduction to the foundational works in the philosophical study of language, including Frege and Russell on sense and reference, logical positivism, Moore on moral language, and Quine on analyticity.

    This paper is ideal both for the serious philosophy student who wants to get to grips with the most important analytic philosophers of the first half of the 20th century and for the student who wishes to get a sense of what 20th-century analytic philosophy of language involves. The paper is taught by Professor Alex Miller, the author of one of the world's leading textbooks on the philosophy of language.

    About this paper

    Paper title An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (Advanced)
    Subject Philosophy
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    One 200-level PHIL paper
    PHIL 236
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    Teaching staff

    Course co-ordinator: Professor Alex Miller

    Paper Structure


    • Two 3,000-word essays, each worth 20% (40% total)
    • Exam - 60%
    Teaching Arrangements

    One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar per week.


    Alexander Miller, Philosophy of Language (3rd edition Routledge 2018).

    A.J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic (Dover Books 1946, or any other available edition).

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Scholarship, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the paper, PHIL 336 students will acquire:

    • The ability to make philosophical analyses and to present and assess philosophical arguments to a high standard
    • The ability to grasp and critically discuss central issues in philosophy of language
    • A demonstrated ability to explain and assess philosophical positions and arguments in their own words
    • An ability to adopt and defend their own position in debates in the philosophy of language
    • An ability to apply central concepts of philosophy of language to philosophical debates in other areas


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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