PHL313 Philosophy of Language
Professor: Craig DeLancey
I do not accept homeworks by email!
Final exam in our classroom at 10:30 a.m. Topics covered will be
theories of meaning, performative utterances, metaphor, the
kripkenstein paradox, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. For fun, there
might be some multiple choice questions. There may also be some
questions about readings.
Along with the study questions for last week, and the first exam,
the following questions may be helpful and close to our test
- Describe the truth-based theory of meaning. What is
the modal logic extenion of this theory? What problem is
that modal logic extension meant to solve?
- Describe the use-theory of meaning.
- Contrast the use and truth theories of meaning. What's
a benefit and difficulty with each?
- What are performative utterances (and illocutionary
acts)? What are some examples of performative utterances?
Do you think there is some systematic order to them, or
are they of boundless possible kinds? Is this a matter for
a meaning theory, or is it outside of meaning?
- Why might performative utterances pose a problem for the
truth based theory of meaning? How might a defender of the
truth based theory of meaning handle them?
- What is Davidson's theory of metaphor?
- What is Martinich's theory of metaphor?
- What is the paradox regarding rule-following that
Kripke claims to find in Wittgenstein's book Philosophical
Investigations? Explain the paradox carefully, and use
- What is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? How does Whorf suggest
that differences between Hopi and SAE shape differences in how the
two cultural groups conceive of the world?
- What did Kempton and Kay show (or not show) with their
experiments regarding the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? Did they
confirm it, or disconfirm it? What two experiments did they
do? Why did they do two experiments?
- Describe the relative merits and problems for the
causal theory and descriptive theories of reference.
Tentative assignments. These will be revised substantially as we