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Philosophy 4914
Philosophy of Language
9:30-10:20 M W F 214 Coates
Exam time: Wed. Dec. 11, 10:00-12:00 (paper due at beginning of exam time)
 
Instructor: Jon Cogburn
Instructor's Office: 105 Coates
Instructor's Office Hours: M,W 10:30-11:30
Instructor's e-mail: joncogburn@yahoo.com
 
Course's Purpose:
To learn the main arguments from the twentieth century's "linguistici turn" in analytic philosophy. Since much of this knowledge is presupposed in contemporary published philosophy, this course will help prepare students for graduate level work in philosophy.
 
Reading:
All of the course readings are from articles provided by the professor and the following.
Language, Truth, and Logic, A.J. Ayer
Philosophy of Language, Second Edition, Alexander Miller
Realism and Anti-Realism, Stuart Brock and Edwin Mares
They are available at the LSU bookstore.
 
Course Desiderata:
In this class I am solely concerned with helping students get up to speed in their ability to study contemporary research in analytical philosophy. All of the material we cover will be helpful in providing this cultural background.
 
Requirements:
Participation Grade. Students are required to participate constructively in class discussion. Each student will be able to miss twoclass periods with no effect on the final grade. For each absence after that, one point is deducted from the final grade. Note that no distinction is made between excused or unexcused absences, since this is a participation grade, not an attendence grade.
 
Homework 15%. There are three homeworks at the beginning of the semester. These are due at the beginning of the class period after they are assigned.
 
Short Papers 30%. Students will submit short (one to three page) essays at the beginning of class periods where chapters of Brock and Mares' Realism and Anti-Realism is discussed, starting on Monday, November 4th. The essays must make clear the overall conclusions from the chapter, explicate some significant argument within the assignment, and then raise an issue for that argument. These are to be turned in at the beginning of class. All must be stapled, double spaced, in 12 point Times or Times-New Roman font, have page numbers at the top right hand side, be such that there is no extra space between paragraphs, be right justified, and have one inch margins. University of Chicago citation format must be followed (these are available free on line, just google it). There are twelve of these. No late work is accepted, but only the students’ top ten will be graded. So one could miss two assignments with no penalty. Some of these will be graded very cursorily, with the instructor just checking to make sure the student did the assignment adequately. A random four or so will be graded in much more depth. If the student thinks her idea might develop into a final paper, then the instructor will read very carefully so as to help with the final paper, even if the short paper is one of the ten for which the instructor is grading cursorily.
 
Exams 30% There are three in-class exams. Exam help will be distributed one week before each exam. The exams will come from Ayer, Miller, and handouts.
 
Final paper 25%. Length and citational guidelines are as given by the journal Analysis (http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/analys/for_authors/). In addition, writing must be (1) double spaced, (2) left justified, (3) in Times or Times New Roman 12 pt font, (4) have page numbers in the upper right hand corner (not written but inserted by Word), (5) be stapled, and (6) not have extra space between the paragraphs (in Word go to Paragraph and then click box that says "Don't add space between paragraphs of same style"). All of these formatting guidelines will be explained further in class. If your paper does not follow any of these guidelines I will delete 20 points (which will be five points off your final grade) and have you turn a correct version in late. Finally, I do not accept work over e-mail.
 
We will have plenty of opportunity to discuss paper topics in class. Your paper must have an original philosophical thesis that is argued for. This needn't (and shouldn't) be extravogant though. Most theses will simply be that some other contemporary philosopher has presented an unsound argument. All papers must explicate argumentation from contemporary philosophy journals that can be found on JSTOR (with an advanced search restricted to "philosophy") or cited by the Philosopher's Index. All students should talk with the professor about their topic and sources they intend to use.
Graduate Students:
Approximately nine percent of graduate students grades will be dependent upon substitute teaching when the professor is at academic conferences. Students who do this well will get 10 points and their grades will be calculated as a fraction of 110.
 
Office Hour Policy:
Students are strongly recommended to make use of the instructor's office hours throughout the semester. 
 
Time to Bail if Professor is Not in Class:
If, due to an emergency, the professor does not show up within fifteen minutes of the scheduled beginning of class (i.e. by 4:25), then just split. Please do not contact the office staff with questions on that day. You will be e-mailed.
 
Plagiarism and Cheating
The Dean of Students office defines plagiarism in this manner.
Plagiarism-plagiarism is defined as the unacknowledged inclusion, in work submitted for credit, of someone else's words, ideas, or data. When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, the source of this information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific footnote references, and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well. Failure to identify any source, published or unpublished, copyrighted or uncopyrighted, from which information, terms, phrases, or concepts have been taken, constitutes plagiarism. Students should also take special note that failure to acknowledge study aids such as Cliff's Notes, encyclopedias, or other common reference books, also constitutes plagiarism. Only universally available facts, e.g., the date of Abraham Lincoln's death or Washington's birthdate, are excluded from such documentation requirements. By placing his or her name on work submitted for credit, the student certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgments;

Note: Cut and pasting off of web sites without proper citation constitutes plagiarism! For guidelines on how to cite material quoted from web pages, go to http://www.library.wwu.edu/ref/Refhome/chicago.html .
 
I am legally required report any suspected instance of it to the Dean of Student's office.
Tentative Schedule:
Note:  This schedule is only tentative.  Any changes will be announced in class, and then updated here on the site. I will certainly be gone for some conferences. Substitute teaching will be provided by the graduate students in the class.

 

Week 1
Monday, Aug. 26 
Introductions
Wednesday, Aug. 28
Chapter 1 (1.1-1.3) (handout/homework 1 - first order logic into natural language)
Friday, Aug. 30
Chapter 1 (1.4-1.5) (handout/homework 2 - A Fregean functional semantics, part 1: functions, names, and predicates)
Week 2
Monday, Sept. 2
Labor Day Holiday; No classes
Wednesday, Sept. 4
Chapter 1 (1.6) (handout/homework 3 - A Fregean functional semantics, part 2: propositional connnectives)
Friday, Sept. 6
Chapter 1 Fregean functional semantics, part 3: quantifiers (possible handout)
Week 3
Monday, Sept. 9
Chapter 1 Futher topics; proof theory and natural language semantics (possible handout)
Wednesday, Sept. 11
Chapter 2 (2.1-2.4)
Exam I test-help
Friday, Sept. 13
Miller, Chapter 2 (2.5-2.12)
Week 4
Monday, Sept. 16
Miller, Chapter 2 (2.13-2.14)
Wednesday, Sept. 18
Exam I
Friday, Sept. 20
Miller, Chapter 3 (3.1-3.4)
Week 5
Monday, Sept. 23
Miller, Chapter 3 (3.5-3.7)
Wednesday, Sept. 25
Ayer, Chapter 1 (handout on Ch. 1)
Friday, Sept. 27
Ayer Chapter 4 (handout on Ch. 4)
Week 6
Monday, Sept. 30
Ayer, Chapter 5 (handout on Ch. 5)
Wednesday, Oct. 2
Miller Chapter 4 (4.1-4.3)
Friday, Oct. 4
GUEST LECTURE
Miller Chapter 4 (4.4-4.5)
Exam II test-help
Week 7
Monday, Oct. 7
Miller Chapter 4 (4.6-4.9)
Wednesday, Oct. 9
Miller Chapter 4 (4.8-4.10)
Friday, Oct. 11
Exam II
Week 8
Midsemester examination period
Monday, Oct. 14
Miller Chapter 5 (5.1 and 5.2)
Wednesday, Oct. 16
Miller Chapter 5 (5.3 and 5.4)
Friday, Oct. 18
Miller Chapter 5 (5.5 and 5.6)
Week 9
Monday, Oct. 21
Miller Chapter 5 (5.7)
21 Midsemester grades due in Office of the University Registrar
Wednesday, Oct. 23
GUEST LECTURE
Miller Chapter 6 (6.1 and 6.2)
Friday, Oct. 25
GUEST LECTURE
Miller Chapter 6 (6.3 and 6.4)
Exam III test-help
Week 10
Monday, Oct. 28
Miller Chapter 6 (6.5 and 6.6)
Wednesday, Oct. 30
Miller Chapter 6 (6.7)
Friday, Nov. 1
Exam 3
 
Week 11
Monday, Nov. 4 
Brock/Mares. Ch 1
Wednesday, Nov. 6
GUEST LECTURE
Brock/Mares. Ch 2
Friday, Nov. 8
Fall Holiday; No classes
Week 12
Monday, Nov. 11
Brock/Mares. Ch 3
Wednesday, Nov. 13
Brock/Mares. Ch 4
Friday, Nov. 15
Brock/Mares. Ch 5
Week 13
Monday, Nov. 18
Brock/Mares. Ch 6
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Brock/Mares. Ch 7
Friday, Nov. 22
Brock/Mares. Ch 8
Week 14
Monday, Nov. 25
Brock/Mares. Ch 9
Wednesday, Nov. 27
Thanksgiving Holiday; No classes
Friday, Nov. 29 
Thanksgiving Holiday; No classes
 
Week 15
Monday, Dec. 2
Brock/Mares. Ch 10
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Brock/Mares. Ch 11
Friday, Dec. 6
Brock/Mares. Ch 12
Week 16--Final Exam Period
Exam time: Wed. Dec. 11, 10:00-12:00 (paper due at beginning of exam time)
Final grades for degree candidates due by 9:00 A.M., Tuesday, December 17th.
Final grades for degree candidates due by 9:00 A.M., Wednesday, December 18th.

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