BASS Politics and Criminology

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Founding Mothers: Women Philosophers and their Role in The Development of Analytic Philosophy

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHIL30352
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Brief overview of the syllabus/topics.


Week 1. Introduction, historical backdrop, Victoria Welby on language

Week 2. Analysis in early analytic philosophy (Constance Jones and Bertrand Russell)

Week 3. Susan Stebbing on analysis of language vs. analysis of facts

Week 4. Alice Ambrose and G.E. Moore on analysis of language

Week 5. Tarski on truth, reference, and satisfaction

Week 6. W.V. Quine and Ruth Barcan Marcus on quantification, reference, and ontology

Week 7. Ruth Barcan Marcus on modality and language

Week 8. Modal language and its truth conditions

Week 9. W.V. Quine on radical translation

Week 10. Jane Heal on truth, radical interpretation, and simulation theory


The course unit aims to: introduce students to some of the foundational debates of early and mid analytic philosophy concerning the relationship of language to the world: logical and linguistic analysis, ontology, and modal language.

Students will closely read and interpret some classic texts on language, analysis, and language-world relations, as well as some lesser-known but worth-while texts by marginalised female figures of the period.

Students will also dissect and assess the arguments of those texts, compare them to contemporary accounts, and form and defend their own views on the course themes in language and analysis.

Learning outcomes

Student should be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding: Students should acquire knowledge of some of the central debates on language, ontology, philosophy of logic, and analysis of facts and language of the history of analytic philosophy, and to understand how they have influenced and informed contemporary philosophical arguments and debates.

Intellectual skills: Skills in analysing and constructing arguments, and in explaining and assessing central debates in the history of analytic philosophy.

Practical skills: skills in time-management, in independent working, and formulating and finding evidence for own views, writing skills, presentation skills.

Transferable skills and personal qualities: skills in reading, understanding, and critically interrogating demanding texts, interpreting and assessing historical texts, writing skills, argumentation analysis, skills in formulating and presenting independent arguments.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars, Blackboard material.

Please note the information in scheduled activity hours are only a guidance and may change.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written assignment (inc essay) 75%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%

Assessment task 

Length required

Weighting within unit 


Essay 1

1,200 words


Yes, written

Essay 2

2,200 words


Yes, written


Tutorial performance

10 min.




Yes, written

Yes, verbal


Feedback methods

The School of Social Sciences (SoSS) is committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to students on their academic progress and achievement, thereby enabling students to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development effectively. Students are reminded that feedback is necessarily responsive: only when a student has done a certain amount of work and approaches us with it at the appropriate fora is it possible for us to feed back on the student’s work.

We also draw your attention to the variety of generic forms of feedback available to you on this as on all SoSS courses. These include: meeting the lecturer/tutor during their office hours; e-mailing questions to the lecturer/tutor; asking questions from the lecturer (before and after lectures); and obtaining feedback from your peers during tutorials.

Recommended reading

Susan Stebbing, A Modern Introduction to Logic, Methuen 1933. Appendix on Logical Constructions.


Alfred Tarski, 1944, “The semantic conception of truth”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 4 (3): 341–376.


W.V Quine, From a Logical Point of View, Harvard UP 1953. Essays 1, 4, and 8.


Alice Ambrose, Essays in Analysis, George Allen and Unwin, 1966. Essays 8 and 9.


Donald Davidson, Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, Clarendon 1984. Essays 2, 3, 9, 13, and 14


Ruth Barcan Marcus, Modalities, Oxford UP 1990. Essays 1, 7, 8, and 13.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Frederique Janssen-Lauret Unit coordinator

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