5143006 Philosophy

Numbering Code U-LET01 35143 SJ34 Year/Term 2021 ・ Second semester
Number of Credits 2 Course Type Seminar
Target Year Target Student
Language English Day/Period Tue.2
Instructor name TAKASHI YAGISAWA (Part-time Lecturer)
Outline and Purpose of the Course We will continue our study of Friederike Moltmann’s Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language from the First Term. Semantics of natural language appears to commit us to the postulation of abstract objects, like numbers and propositions. Moltmann argues that the correct understanding of natural language allows us to dispense with such a commitment. She uses two key notions, trope and plural reference, to make her case. We will study her arguments carefully and learn how to approach semantics philosophically productively. Along the way, we will have opportunities to examine the metaphysics of tropes and the logic of plural reference, among other things. Our overarching aim in this course is to acquire solid background in the fundamentals of analytic philosophy to maximize the quality of our own research in all areas of philosophy.
Course Goals We aim to obtain deep and accurate mastery of the contemporary analytic philosophical method by studying various connected topics in semantics of natural language. We strive to cultivate philosophical and linguistic abilities to enable us to engage in intellectual discussion of the highest degree of sophistication in English.
Schedule and Contents (授業計画と内容)
We read the following book and examine the arguments found in it:
Moltmann, Friederike, Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Below is a provisional course schedule, subject to change at any time:

10/05 Chapter 4
10/12 Chapter 4
10/19 Chapter 4
10/26 Chapter 4
11/02 Chapter 4
11/09 Chapter 5
11/16 Chapter 5
11/30 Chapter 5
12/07 Chapter 5
12/14 Chapter 5
12/21 Chapter 6
12/28 Chapter 6
01/11 Chapter 6, Writing Assignment Announced
01/18 Chapter 6
01/25 Chapter 6
02/1 or 22 Not a Class Day, Writing Assignment due
Evaluation Methods and Policy Term paper and participation in class discussion.
Course Requirements Ability to use English in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Study outside of Class (preparation and review) Read the text, and be prepared to ask questions and express opinions during class discussion.

Here are three useful links:

James Pryor’s Guidelines on Reading and Writing Philosophy:



Angela Mendelovici’s Sample Philosophy Paper:

Textbooks Textbooks/References Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, Moltmann, Friederike, (Oxford University Press, 2013)
References, etc. The following entries in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online)
https://plato.stanford.edu/ :

(1) Theories of Meaning (Jeff Speaks)

(2) Tropes (Anna-Sofia Maurin)