This version of the course guide is provisional until the period for editing the new course guides ends.

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Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

Code: 106281 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504212 English Studies FB 1 2


David Jorge Casacuberta Sevilla

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


No prerequisites

Objectives and Contextualisation

The course presents the main debates and conceptions of language from a philosophical perspective


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values. 
  • Demonstrate skills to work autonomously and in teams to fulfil the planned objectives.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.
  • Understand and produce written and spoken academic texts in English at an advanced proficient-user level (C1).
  • Use digital tools and specific documentary sources for the collection and organisation of information.
  • Use written and spoken English for academic and professional purposes, related to the study of linguistics, the philosophy of language, history, English culture and literature.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically analyse the principles, values and procedures governing the field of study.
  2. Distinguish and outline the fundamental content of a philosophical argument.
  3. Express oneself in English, orally and in writing, in an academic register and using the appropriate terminology in relation to the study of the philosophy of language.
  4. Identify and explain aspects of the philosophy of language using the discipline-specific terminology.
  5. Identify and explain the methods of study of the philosophy of language.
  6. Locate specialised and academic information and select this according to its relevance.
  7. Plan work effectively, individually or in groups, in order to fulfil the planned objectives.
  8. Understand specialised academic texts on the fundamental concepts of the philosophy of language.


The course is divided into four main sections: what is philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of literature and an update to this century

1) What is philosophy?

1.1. Philosophy as the territory of reason and argumentation

1.2. Philosophy as dialogue

1.3. Philosophy between science and art


2) An approach to the philosophy of language

2.1 The formal perspective of language. The first Wittgenstein

2.2 The embodied conception of language. Lakoff and Johnson's theory of metaphors

2.3 Philosophy of everyday language: the second Wittgenstein.


3) An approach to the philosophy of literature

3.1 The conception of language in Eastern thought. Daoism and Zen

3.2 Basic concepts of Gadamer's hermeneutical theory


4) Current panorama of the philosophy of language and literature


The methodology of the course combines presentations of the theory by teachers and participatory activities in small groups in the form of a seminar.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Master classes 35 1.4 8, 2, 4, 5, 6
Seminars 11 0.44 2, 3, 6
Type: Supervised      
tutorship 22 0.88 1, 3, 4, 5, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Case studies 31 1.24 8, 3, 4, 5, 6
Readings of the recommended bibliography 44 1.76 2, 5, 6, 7


The evaluation method will consist of three tests - Two will be short answer individual written tests or equivalent (multiple choice test). The third must be different, such as an exam to take home and return after 48 hours or an oral presentation. The first test will be used to evaluate topics 1 and 2, the second for topic 3 and the third for topic 4. The tests will be done once the topics associated with each of them have been completed. Each test will be worth a maximum of 10 points and there will be a global average obtained from the sum of the results of the three tests ((P1 + P2 + P3) / 3) that gives a minimum of 5 points to pass the course. It is necessary to carry out the 3 tests to pass.

For oral presentations, a minimum of three people per group is recommended. The presentations will be of a maximum of 15 minutes and will be made in substitution of the master classes.

A maximum of three days will be reserved in order to carry out these exhibitions.

Reassessments: students who have taken at least two of the three tests, and have failed some or all of the tests, or seek to improve their grade, may either re-examine those tests that they have not taken or that have failed, or take a single multiple choice test to evaluate the three parts. To raise the grade, you must take the exam of the three re-evaluation tests, keeping the mark after the one obtained during the re-evaluation.

Students who have not taken a minimum of two tests will be considered as 'not evaluable'.


In the event that the student performs any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the rating of an evaluation act, this evaluation act will be scored 0, regardless of the disciplinary process that may be instructed. In the event that there are several irregularities in the evaluation acts of the same subject, the final grade for this subject will be 0.


In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Multiple Choice test or equivalent 2 40% 2 0.08 1, 8, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
Multiple choice test or equivalent 40% 2.5 0.1 1, 8, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
Written paper or oral presentation 20% 2.5 0.1 1, 8, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


Barthold, Lauren Swayne, 2010, Gadamer’s Dialectical Hermeneutics, Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2010.

Carroll, N. (2003). The philosophy of horror: Or, paradoxes of the heart. Routledge.

Gadamer, H. G. 1989, Truth and Method, 2nd rev. edn. (1st English edn, 1975, trans. by W, Glen-Doepel, ed. by John Cumming and Garret Barden), 

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2008). Metaphors we live by. University of Chicago press.

Midgley, M. (2018). What is Philosophy For?. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Pears, D. (1986) Ludwig Wittgenstein. Harvard University Press.

Puett, M., & Gross-Loh, C. (2016). The path: What Chinese philosophers can teach us about the good life. Simon and Schuster.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Thacker, E. (2011). In the dust of this planet: Horror of philosophy vol. 1 (Vol. 1). John Hunt Publishing.

Wittgenstein, L. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1961, D. F. Pears and B. F. McGuinness (trans.), New York: Humanities Press.

_ (1953) Philosophical Investigations , G.E.M. Anscombe and R. Rhees (eds.), G.E.M. Anscombe (trans.), Oxford: Blackwell



No specific software needed