MA Political Science - Philosophy and Political Theory

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Philosophy of Language

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHIL60081
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course will explore some important debates in contemporary philosophy of language. The focus of the course will change from year to year, but may include topics such as propositions, reference, meaning, and truth.



The course unit aims to:

  • help students to engage with some of the most central problems in the philosophy of language;
  • enhance students’ powers of critical analysis, reasoning and independent thought,
  • enhance students’ ability bring those powers to bear on important philosophical issues;
  • familiarise students with some of the most interesting and provocative texts in contemporary philosophy of language.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to demonstrate: knowledge and understanding of some central texts and problems in contemporary analytic philosophy of language; the capacity to critically reflect on those texts and problems; and to articulate and defend their own views.

Teaching and learning methods

1 x 2-hour introductory session.

8 x 2-hour seminars, each based on one or two key texts.

1 x 2-hour essay workshops

Assessment methods

Assessment activity

Length required

Weighting within unit




Feedback methods

Formative: oral feedback in seminars and office hours; written feedback on essay plans.

Summative: written feedback on coursework.

Recommended reading

William G. Lycan, Philosophy of Language: A Contemporary Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2008

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 20

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sean Crawford Unit coordinator

Return to course details