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PHL2120 - Language, Truth and Power

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Karen Green


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


The unit will concentrate on two major approaches to the study of language. The structuralist approach which can be traced back to Saussure, and the referential realist approach which can be traced back to Aristotle. It will begin with an introduction to structuralism and the idea that language structures reality. It will move on to the referential semantics introduced by Aristotle and further developed by Frege. Various views concerning truth will be discussed including the view that truth is correspondence with reality and the contrasting position that truth is related to power.


One exercise of 1000 words: 25%
one essay of 2000 - 2500 words: 50%
Examination (1 hour): 25%
Optional replacement of exercise by a 1-hour examination.

Contact hours

2 hours (1 lecture and 1 tutorial) per week


A first-year sequence in philosophy or comparative literature, cultural studies and critical theory or linguistics