Philosophy 290-6

Spring 2006

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-6 Language and Consciousness Searle Tu 2-4 234 Moses

The subject of the seminar will be Language and Consciousness. I want to approach a series of traditional problems in the Philosophy of Language from a new angle. I want to adopt a more “naturalistic” approach than I have done in my published work or than is common in the tradition of the Philosophy of Language. I want to develop the idea that we can explain a lot of features of language by developing the idea that language evolves as an extension of more biologically primitive forms of intentionality in perception, action and consciousness generally. The structure of the proposition, and particularly the unity of the proposition as well as the use of language to create a social and institutional reality have, I believe, profound biological bases.

I want to begin the seminar with these issues and then branch out further into questions about consciousness generally and other problems in the philosophy of language.