Philosophy of Language

Trinity College Dublin

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Philosophy of Language

  • Host University

    Trinity College Dublin

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Philosophy, Religion

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Throughout the history of philosophy, the charge has often been made that a given position is 'self?refuting' or that it cannot be coherently thought or stated. Such a criticism is often made, for example, against certain forms of relativism; but it is also made by Berkeley against the 'realism' he opposes, as well as by critics of Kant, who claim it is 'self?refuting' for him to hold that we can know nothing about things 'as they are in themselves'. The purpose of this seminar is to examine such 'self?refutation' arguments ? in particular, to consider if they have a common structure and to examine what, if anything, they establish. To do so, we will look at a number of sources, including recent writings of such philosophers as Donald Davidson ('On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme'), Thomas Nagel (The View from Nowhere, The Last Word), Paul Boghossian (Fear of Knowledge), Barry Stroud (Engagement and Metaphysical dissatisfaction) and Graham Priest (Beyond the Limits of Thought) as well as earlier writings from Parmenides, Plato, Berkeley, Kant, Russell, Wittgenstein, A.N. Prior, J.L. Mackie and John Anderson, the influential Australian philosopher. Some of the readings we will look at will attempt to articulate the structure of self?refutation arguments; others either use such arguments against others or defend themselves against the charge that their own position is self?refuting.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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