Language, Communication and Representation

Subject PHIL20042 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 60 minute lectures each week for 12 weeks and one 60 minute tutorial for 11 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

approximately 8.5 hours each week.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

One of the following subjects is recommended but not required:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview:

Philosophy of language has played a central role in contemporary philosophy because understanding language promises to yield insights into the nature of thought, representation, and communication. This subject provides an overview of major debates that have shaped the philosophy of language. We’ll examine central questions about the nature of language such as: What are meanings? How do symbols acquire their meanings? What is the relationship between thought and language? What is the difference between the literal meaning of our words and what we imply? Major authors to be discussed will be chosen from: Frege, Russell, Grice, Wittgenstein, Kripke, Quine, Chomsky and Lewis.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • develop an understanding of different theoretical perspectives on language
  • critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of different accounts
  • connect issues in the philosophy of language with important concerns in contemporary philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and other fields

A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour closed-book written examination 50% (during the end of semester examination period).

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After 5 working days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be made available through the subject’s LMS site.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy
Philosophy Major

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