Philosophy of Language: Intriguing Puzzles and Paradoxes

Explore some of the most intriguing and disturbing puzzles while strengthening your critical thinking skills.
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Instructed by Richard Han Academics / Humanities
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  • Lectures 8
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

Are you interested in the philosophy of language? Curious about the philosophical problems that significant figures in the history of analytic philosophy were preoccupied with? Intrigued by the phenomenon of vagueness and paradoxes that boggle your mind?

This course will stimulate your mind, challenge what you've always taken for granted, and bring you to a higher level of philosophical skill.

In this course, I explain in clear language 4 philosophical problems. Step by step, I will explain each argument and provide potential solutions to some of the problems. Topics include: Kripke's Wittgenstein, Vagueness, Quine on the analytic/synthetic distinction, Davidson on meaning.

Full transcripts for each lecture are provided. 30 day full refund if not satisfied.

Grab a cup of coffee and start listening to the first lecture. Over 600 students have enrolled. We're waiting for your insights and questions! Enroll now!

What are the requirements?

  • Basic logic and critical thinking required.
  • Recommended Textbook: The Philosophy of Language 6th Edition by Martinich and Sosa

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn about special topics in the philosophy of language such as the phenomenon of vagueness.
  • Learn about the history of philosophy in figures like Quine and Wittgenstein and about the philosophical problems they were working on.
  • Explore challenging, cryptic, and sometimes disturbing philosophical puzzles.
  • Exercise your basic philosophical skills to higher-level reasoning.
  • Learn how philosophical arguments are analyzed.
  • Understand difficult classic articles in the philosophy of language.

Who is the target audience?

  • Suitable for anyone curious about puzzles in the philosophy of language or who are having difficulty understanding the classic articles in the philosophy of language.
  • Suitable for the philosophically curious layperson or amateur philosopher.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

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Lifetime access.

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Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

In this lecture, I go over the topics of the course and what to expect.

Section 2: Kripke's Wittgenstein

This lecture is about a skeptical problem developed by Kripke according to his reading of Wittgenstein. Students will be able to identify the skeptical problem, learn about dispositionalism and the normativity thesis of meaning, and explore a possible solution to the skeptical problem.

Recommended reading: From On Rules and Private Language (1982), Saul Kripke in The Philosophy of Language Edition 6 by Martinich and Sosa.

Kripke's Wittgenstein
5 questions
Section 3: The Sorites Paradox

In this lecture, we look at the Sorites Paradox and a view called Supervaluationism. Problems with supervaluationism are discussed.

Students will be able to identify the sorites paradox, learn about supervaluationism, and identify problems with supervaluationism.

Recommended reading:

Chapters 1-2 of Vagueness by Timothy Williamson.

Supervaluationism in Theories of Vagueness by Rosanna Keefe

Chapter 5 of Vagueness by Timothy Williamson

6 questions

In this lecture, we explore epistemicism, identify the argument from supervenience of meaning on use, and discuss Timothy Williamson's Margin of Error argument.

Students will learn about epistemicism and identify problems with epistemicism.

Recommended reading:

Chapters 7-8 of Vagueness by Timothy Williamson

The epistemic view of vagueness in Theories of Vagueness by Rosanna Keefe

5 questions
Section 4: The Analytic/Synthetic Distinction

We will look at two arguments Quine gives against the existence of the analytic/synthetic distinction. Students will be able to identify Quine's arguments, learn what confirmation holism is, and learn about the notions of analyticity and synonymy.

Recommended reading: Two Dogmas of Empiricism (1951), W. V. Quine in The Philosophy of Language Edition 6 by Martinich and Sosa.

The Analytic/Synthetic Distinction
5 questions
Section 5: Davidson on Meaning

In this first part of the lecture on Davidson's theory of meaning, we will look at Davidson's proposal for a theory of meaning. Students will learn about the Fregean theory of meaning, the non-triviality requirement, and the compositionality thesis of meaning.

Recommended reading: Truth and Meaning (1967), Donald Davidson in The Philosophy of Language Edition 6 by Martinich and Sosa.

Davidson on Meaning
4 questions

In this second part of the lecture on Davidson's theory of meaning, we will examine Davidson's argument for the truth theory of meaning. In the process, the issues of understanding a truth-condition and of the level of understanding of a truth-condition will emerge. We will explore potential problems for Davidson's argument, including the problems of demonstratives and of belief ascription.

Students will be able to identify Davidson's truth theory of meaning, assess his argument for the truth theory of meaning, and gain a sense of the limitation of theoretical activity.

Davidson on Meaning 2
4 questions
Section 6: Conclusion

In the conclusion, I congratulate you on your accomplishment.

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Instructor Biography

Richard Han, PhD in Mathematics

Hi there! My name is Richard Han. I earned my PhD in Mathematics from the University of California, Riverside. I have extensive teaching experience: 6 years as a teaching assistant at University of California, Riverside, over two years as a faculty member at Western Governors University, #1 in secondary education by the National Council on Teacher Quality, and as a faculty member at Trident University International. My expertise includes calculus and linear algebra. I am an instructor on Udemy for the courses Philosophy of Language: Solidify Critical Thinking Skills and Linear Algebra for Beginners: Open Doors to Great Careers.

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