THEORY OF LANGUAGE AND THE MIND
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of the course is for students to get to the heart of contemporary philosophical research.
Only students who have already acquired 10 learning credits in Theories of Language and of the Mind or in Philosophy of Language are admitted to the course.
Course contents summary
Course title: Modalities and possible worlds.
The course will be held in collaboration with the Philosophy of Language course held by Prof. Marco Santambrogio, and sets out to examine one of the themes at the centre of the twentieth-century reflection on language: modality. We are all led to believe that for example, we could have acted differently, but that we could not have been plants. Yet what is the meaning of a statement such as ‘A could have been P’? What are necessity and possibility? The course will examine some of the main answers that were given to these questions during last century. In particular, it will seek to understand the reasons that have led, in this context, to the recovery of the Leibnizian notion of the possible world, and will ask: Is the analysis of modality in terms of possible worlds, so widespread today, truly satisfactory? If so, what is a possible world? If not, how instead should one account for modality?
Provided during the course.