LANGUAGE AND CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Evolving an ability to analyze the presented texts and discuss them in the light of different interpretations (I).
Evolving the ability to produce a written text on some aspect of Wittgenstein's philosophy and to present it critically in a well-argued way (II).
Acquiring some degree of autonomy of judgment and a good level of clarity in communication.
Becoming able to integrate the lectures and the texts with a personal examination of the secondary literature on the relevant topics (III,IV,V).
Course contents summary
Philosophy and Science in Wittgenstein and Quine.
The course is about the relation between science and philosophy, presented through an analysis of Wittgenstein's and Quine's conflicting views. Students will get acquainted with a debate that has roots in the philosophical past and is far from concluded even now; they will also familiarize with the changes that some classical notions such as a priori, a posteriori, analytic, and synthetic have undergone in analytic philosophy. The course aims at casting light on both differences and possible points of agreement between Wittgenstein and Quine on the relation of science and philosophy, thereby promoting reflection on the deep connection of these two forms of human knowledge.
Philosophy and science in Wittgenstein and Quine –Part (I)
Wittgenstein's critique of scientific philosophy: philosophical analysis, grammatical analysis, conceptual analysis. Quine's criticism of the two dogmas of empiricism.
Philosophy and science in Wittgenstein and Quine –Part (II)
Wittgenstein on the place of science in our form of life. Quine on the continuity of science and philosophy within a naturalized epistemology program.
Perissinotto, L. (2008), Wittgenstein. Una Guida. Feltrinelli.
Origgi, G. (2000), Introduzione a Quine, Roma-Bari, Laterza.
Quine,W.V.O. (1951), I due dogmi dell’empirismo, in Casalegno P. et al. (a cura di), Filosofia del linguaggio, Milano, Cortina, 2003, pp.107-135.
Wittgenstein, L. passi scelti da: Tractatus Logico-philosophicus, Ricerche filosofiche, Libro blu e Libro marrone.
Andronico, M. (2010), Dall’interno dello schema: per un naturalismo ontologico non riduzionista, in “Rivista di Estetica”, 2/2010, pp.81-96.
Tripodi P., (2009), Dimenticare Wittgenstein. Una vicenda della filosofia analitica, Il Mulino (in particolare i capitoli II; III; Conclusioni)
Quine, W.V.O (1969), Epistemologia naturalizzata, in Id., La relatività ontologica e altri saggi, Armando. Roma, pp.69-90.
Wittgenstein, L., passi scelti da: Ricerche filosofiche, Della certezza.
The course will mostly consist of lectures. In addition, topics will be suggested for written papers and oral presentations, to be discussed in class.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam comes in two parts: (a) a written paper on one of the topics that were presented in the lectures, (b) an oral examination including questions on the materials covered in the course as well as discussion of the written paper.
Final evaluation will reflect
- command of the course contents,
- ability to critically elaborate on them,
- expository and argumentative abilities.
Non-attending students are invited to get in touch with the professor to agree on a paper topic and on further bibliography.