PHIL 480. PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE
Earlham College, Spring Semester 2004-2005
Monday, Thursday 2:20-3:50 Carpenter 321
Instructor: Ferit Güven
Office: Carpenter 328
Office Hours: Monday 11:00-12:00, Wednesday 2:30-3:30, and by appointment
Office Phone: 983-1399
Reading Assignments: (available in the Earlham College bookstore)
Herder, J.G. and Rousseau, J-J, Two Essays On the Origin of Language, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).
Saussure, Ferdinand de, Course in General Linguistics, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965).
Austin, John, How To Do Things With Words, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975).
In addition to these texts, the following readings are on reserve at
form) and in the Philosophy Department.
Gottlob Frege, "Sense and Reference" from Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege.
Bertrand Russell, "On Denoting" from The Philosophy of Language, (ed. A.P. Martinich).
Jacques Derrida, "Signature Event Context" from Limited Inc.
Jacques Derrida, Selections from Of Grammatology.
Martin Heidegger, "The Nature of Language" and "The Way to Language" from On the Way to Language.
Michel Foucault, "The Thought from Outside" from Foucault/Blanchot.
Requirements and Evaluation:
This course will be conducted in a seminar format. Therefore,
attandance and participation are important dimensions of the course and
your grade. I expect you to come to class prepared and ready to
participate, i.e., having read the text carefully, and ready to raise
and answer questions.
You are expected to write four papers (5-7 pages). The first three papers will be mainly explanation or exegesis of the text. I will provide topics for each of these assignments. For the last paper you are encouraged to decide on your own topic/question. For every paper (including papers on topics of your own choice) you are responsible for the general guidelines provided. See "Comments and Suggestions for Papers."
Each week (one or) two students will prepare a protocol.
A protocol is a carefully edited summary/notes of the previous class sessions written in full sentences. Protocols will be 2 single-spaced pages and will be photocopied by the student who wrote it and handed out to all students at the beginning of each week to be read aloud. The protocol will serve as a cumulative record of the course. In addition to reviewing the material covered in the previous classes, it should include announcements made in class and questions not addressed in class. The best protocols will be those that do not simply reproduce word for word everything that was said during class, but that rearrange the material thematically, editing out what was unimportant and emphasizing what was significant. One of the advantages of the protocols is to allow you to think during class and not just take notes; because someone will be taking notes for you, you can concentrate on the ideas being presented, and participate without having to write constantly. Also, you will have a summary of every class which will help you with writing papers.
Your grade will be calculated according to the following distribution: Paper 1: 20%; Paper 2: 20%; Paper 3: 20%; Final Paper: 20%; Protocol: 10%; Participation and attendance: 10%.
There will be no final examination.
The success of this course depends on your contribution. Even though I am not inclined to legislate strict attendance policies, you will fail this course, regardless of your grade, if you miss more than four sessions.
Office hours are for students to discuss ideas, assignments and questions. You are encouraged and welcome to come by my office or make appointments for times other than scheduled office hours. You should take advantage of office hours and appointments not simply to discuss your papers (you are obviously welcome to do that too) but also to understand ideas, and texts discussed in class, or discuss your own ideas.
Our sessions will start at 2:30 pm. Students are expected to come on time. Walking into (and out of) the classroom while the session is in progress is very disruptive for everybody. I ask you not to do these. For every two late attendance you will be marked absent for one class session.
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the instructor and Disability Services Office (Academic Support Services) at the beginning of the semester. Accommodation arrangements must be made during the first-two weeks of the semester.
Calendar: There may be some modifications to this calendar. It is your responsibility to be aware of these changes. These changes will be announced in class. If you miss a class you should make sure that you are informed about the assignments for the next session.
Week 1: Introduction to the course
January 13: Novalis, Monologue
January 17: Rousseau, Essay on the Origin of Languages
January 20: Rousseau, Essay on the Origin of Languages
January 24: Herder, Essay on the Origin of Language
January 27: Herder, Essay on the Origin of Language
January 31: Frege, "Sense and Reference"
February 3: Russell, "On Denoting"
February 7: Saussure, Course in General Linguistics
February 10: Mid-semester Break
February 14: Saussure, Course in General Linguistics
February 17: Saussure, Course in General Linguistics
February 21: Austin, How To Do Things with Words
February 24: Austin, How To Do Things with Words
March 7: Derrida, "Signature Event Context"
March 10: Derrida, "Signature Event Context"
March 14: Derrida, Of Grammatology
March 17: Derrida, Of Grammatology
March 21-March 25: Spring Break
March 28: Derrida, Of Grammatology
March 31: Derrida, Of Grammatology
April 4: Heidegger, "The Nature of Language"
April 7: Heidegger, "The Nature of Language"
April 11: Heidegger, "The Way to Language"
April 14: Heidegger, "The Way to Language"
April 18: Foucault, "The Thought from Outside"
April 21: Foucault, "The Thought from Outside"
April 25: Foucault, "The Thought from Outside"
April 28: Review and Evaluation
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