Phil 445

Advanced Philosophy of Language (Phil/Ling 445.001)

M 3-5:30 in Caldwell 213 (in-person instruction)
Jim Pryor <>
Course Website
General Catalog Listing

This seminar is aimed at grads and undergrads in Philosophy and Linguistics. It counts toward the “Metaphysics and Epistemology” distribution requirement for Philosophy grads. Students who aren’t Philosophy grads need the instructor’s permission to enroll. Recommended preparation: Phil 345 (Phil of Language) and at least one other course in Philosophy. Familiarity with formal languages, for example from Phil 155 (Logic), would also be helpful.

We’ll work through major landmarks in the semantics of descriptions and demonstratives, culminating with Kripke’s Naming and Necessity and Kaplan’s “Demonstratives.” Details will be tailored to the interests and backgrounds of the participants (we might, for example, explore connections to the metaphysics of origins and composition). Along the way, participants should expect to learn some formal semantics, and major development in 20th century analytic philosophy.

Major Readings