PHIL204-17S (NET)

Language and Communication

20 Points

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Te Kura Kete Aronui
School of Social Sciences
Philosophy

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: hmorrell@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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"Caesar crossed the Rubicon." "Zombies eat brains." Language permits us to make a claim about someone who lived in the distant past or entities that don't exist. How does language enable us to convey thoughts about non-existent things or people with whom we have had no contact? This paper will explore that question, as well as serve as an introduction to perennial philosophical issues of language and communication.
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Paper Structure

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Language and Communication is delivered fully online through the University of Waikato's Moodle interface. Because of this, the student bears quite a heavy burden to complete reading assignments, written assignments, and listening to lectures.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Think analytically about philosophical issues concerning the nature of language and communication.
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  • Analyse, evaluate and construct philosophical arguments, both in oral discussion and in written work.
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  • Understand some of the most influential positions taken on these issues in contemporary philosophy.
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  • Understand the significance of some important episodes in the history of philosophy.
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  • Understand how philosophic issues in language and communication are important for some current public debates.
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Assessment

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This paper is wholly internally assessed. Each piece of assessment has been designed to enable students to demonstrate their grasp of essential concepts and techniques at progressive stages of the paper and for teaching staff to assess the progress they are making and to adjust lecture plans if necessary.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 1:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 1:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Short Paper #1
25
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Short Paper #2
35
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Argument Outlines
25
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Discussion Questions
15
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Language and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language, by Michael Devitt and Kim Sterelny, 2d ed. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999).

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Recommended Readings

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Given that the primary objective of this paper is to familiarise students with the classic arguments and debates occurring in the philosophy of language, it will rely heavily upon the secondary source material provided in Michael Devitt and Kim Sterelny's Language and Reality: An Introduction to Philosophy of Language. Occasionally, I will recommend some primary source material for students to review and use Moodle as a vehicle for these recommendations. Students enrolled in PHIL 204 are not required to read or review the recommended primary source material.
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Online Support

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Workload

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200 hours.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Philosophy is the very crucible from which all other disciplines evolved, so this paper links with every other paper in the offing at university.
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