Philosophy 135

Fall 2016

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
135 Theory of Meaning Perry TuTh 2-3:30 3111 Etcheverry

Smoke means fire. Dark clouds mean rain. Global warming means huge populations shifts. That extended arm means the driver is turning left. When she said it was to my left, she really meant was to my right. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that. “Tangible” means perceivable by though.

Do all these phenomena that we use “means” to describe, have something in common? What have philosophers taken meaning to be? How does the phenomenon of meaning, or the phenomena of meaning, fit into a naturalistic account of the world? If there is smoke, but no one around to perceive it, does it still mean fire?

We will discuss all of these questions and more, in the context of trying to develop a unified account of meaning based on the concept of information.

Previously taught: SU16D, SU15A, SP15, SP14, SP13, FL12, SP12, FL09, FL08, SP07, FL06, FL05, FL04, SU04A.