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PHIL336 An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (Advanced)

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.

Paper title An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (Advanced)
Paper code PHIL336
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 12:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41