Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objective of the course is to introduce to the contemporary debate on logical form and on the logical-philosophical analysis of natural language.
There are no prerequisites. It is however useful to have a rudimentary knowledge of the logic of propositions and of the calculus of first order.
Course contents summary
The main issue of the course is the syntactical and semantic analyses of linguistic predicates. Some modern and contemporary theories will be considered offering logical and linguistic analyses; in particular that of Montague (in 'The proper treatment of quantification in ordinary English).
The issues we will focus on concern from one hand the way in which semantic categories are assigned to natural language expressions, from another hand, the application of the categorical analysis to natural languages. Questions such as these will be scrutinize throughout the course, with particular reference to the following authors/arguments:
The concept of meaning category, the substitutability principle (two expressions belonging to the same semantic category are substitutable in selected contexts.
The retaking of the Husserl's view on semantic categories, the concept of syntactic connectivity, derivation of the index of a well formed phrase.
A logical-mathematical point of view on semantic categories, heuristic procedures, derived categories, the syntactic calculus.
The form of the grammar, logical-philosophical problems, categorical lexicon, grammatical rules, the logical intermediate language, translation from syntax to semantics
Assessment methods and criteria